|Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons|
This weekend I started basil plants from seed. I grew basil fairly successfully last year from plants I bought at the nursery, but I never seemed to have enough of it to make the pesto sauce my family loves and have enough leftover for magical workings. This year I want to have lots of basil plants! Because I'm a tightwad and don't want to fork over the dough for a dozen or more nursery-raised plants, I decided to grow basil from seed.
I went to my local garden shop and picked up a neat little kit that includes a tray with 36 compartments, a plastic lid and potting mix pellets that expand when you soak them in water (which reminded me of those magic fish things they used to sell when I was a kid... “Just add water and watch them grow to 400 times their original size!”). I moistened the soil pellets, put a few seeds in each compartment, covered them gently with soil, placed the plastic lid over the tray and set it in an area away from direct sunlight.
In about a week or two, I should have seedlings. At that point, I need to remove the plastic cover, put the tray in a sunny window and keep the soil moist. Once they’re about 1.5” tall, I have to thin them out. And I’ll plant them outdoors around Mother’s Day. In addition to basil, I planted some seeds for parsley, which I use a lot in cooking, and sweet alyssum for filling in blank spots in my perennial gardens. Now the waiting begins…
Basil is useful in both cooking and magic. Perhaps its best-known magical use is for attracting money and success. For this purpose, place a basil leaf in your wallet, or soak a handful of leaves in water for three days and spray the basil water in your home or office. To bring harmony and balance to your home, place a basil plant near your home’s entrance. Other uses are for purification, protection, and love spells.