A couple of weeks ago I spoke about the basil varieties that I'll be growing, namely Profumo di Genovese, Dolly, Lemon, Thai and the Botanical Interests Custom Blend. When it comes to growing basil in my area, you don't technically have to start seeds indoors. If I sow directly in mid-late May, which is a couple of weeks after our last frost date, I could start harvesting by the end of July. But we all want our harvests earlier, don't we? And that means that I'm starting my basil indoors about 5 weeks before our last frost date.
|12 day old basil seedlings|
We use a lot of basil so I always grow a few dozen plants. Since I need so many, last year I tried growing it in groupings using larger 4"x2" cells, instead of individually in 6-cell packs. What I found was that growing them this way was just as successful & took up a lot less space under the grow lights, which is the main consideration.
|Basil just starting to emerge, about 4 days after seeding|
|Since we LOVE lemon basil, it gets about 3/4 of the space|
with the Custom Blend making up the rest
|I must have sprinkled a seed or two from the custom mix|
in the lemon basil side as a rogue burgundy seedling appeared amongst the sea of green.
|You can just barely see the bits of green as they start to germinate|
|Thai basil - Thinned to 4 per cell|
|That's right - this is ONE basil plant!|