The Root

One gardener’s quest to get to the bottom of it all.

Healthy Basil Sprouts, aka Turtle-Shells April 14, 2008

…as Neville called them last night. (I can’t wait until Freya’s a toddler and can appreciate his whimsy.) They are just about the most charming plants I ever did see, and proof that I have come a long way towards greening my thumbs. I remember the sickly, pot-bound basil, ridden with whiteflies, that died a harrowing death under my care last year. I also remember, last year, looking enviously at my neighbor’s beautiful little basil sprouts and wondering if I would ever be able to do right by seeds. Looks like the proof will be in the salad.

The mix I’m using of equal parts organic potting soil and vermiculite is a success, even though the bag of potting soil sat outdoors in the carport all winter and doubtless underwent a hard-freeze and a couple thaws. The basil seeds I sowed directly into the soil, instead of sprouting in vermiculite. I wondered if the mix would be too dense, and I never sterilized it or anything; Pride and green digits aside, I might have lucked out. I would say basil is fool-proof, but I can’t wipe last year’s plantslaughter from my record.

Coming soon: photos of the filled raised bed! I did the grunt work yesterday, but forgot to document it. Anyway, the finished product, as yet unplanted, definitely warrents a snapshot.


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