Monday, April 11, 2011

Growing basil from seeds

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.


  1. I love planting basil in my garden every year. It ranks as one of my top favorite herbs. Lots of luck with the seedlings!
    Thank you for stopping by Harmonie House and for helping me with the name of my shrub. I finally know what to call it!! Thanks to you! :) Please stop by often and stay for tea.

  2. Thanks for your comment. I'll definitely be stopping by your blog - talk to you soon!

  3. Hi,
    Nice to know that Basil is useful in both cooking and magic. And also to know that it brings harmony and balance to our home.

    Very informative.
    Keep it up.

    International Business Directory

  4. Jeevan, thanks for your comment.

  5. I LOVE those little pod things! My son loves to garden with me and since we live in an apartment those things are perfect for us. One day we will have a house with a garden! I look forward to following your blog!

  6. Thanks, Sandi. Yes, I think the pods would be perfect for teaching kids about gardening!


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