Jamie Oliver

forum: Gardening / Growing

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#11 Sat 28 Apr 12 2:25pm

minerva

Forum champ
Occupation Walking the Old Ways
From Living in the Wild Woods
Member since Wed 16 Jan 08

Re: When does Basil taste like Basil?

One thing to be wary of when buying a plant...........& this might seem a daft/obvious thing to say.............is to check that it IS actually a Basil plant you are buying! Labels can get swapped around when other customers read them & inadvertantly put them back in the wrong pot, & on several occasions I have come across people who have bought a pot in which the original plant has perished & a weed (very green & very healthy) has taken hold instead!!!!
If it's a food-plant you are buying, take nothing on trust or you could find what you have just purchased could make you very ill instead.

Obvious advice I know, but taste & smell the other food plants around the one you are buying to check that you are buying what you think you are! If yours tastes/smells different you have to ask yourself why?

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#12 Thu 03 May 12 5:17pm

LorettaJoe.L

Member
Occupation Retired and relishing every minute
From California
Member since Wed 25 May 11

Re: When does Basil taste like Basil?

Sounds like you have a hybrid gone south or a plant that is pretending to be basil. I recommend buying a plant from a nursery or even Trader Joe's. Trader Joe's gets really lovely basil plants in at Spring time.  Smell it to be sure, the scent is unmistakable.  Buy two, one for using right away and one to grow.  Buy good sized healthy looking plants. Grow one in your garden (or in a lovely pot on your patio where the sun is most of the day) and use the other, keeping it in a sunny window. Allow the other one to go to seed and use the seeds for your next crop. My basil grew well into winter, until a frosty night killed it.  Don't forget to pinch back (and use) the leaves on both plants so the plants can become fuller and stay healthy, otherwise they will become leggy.

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#13 Thu 03 May 12 7:09pm

mark's kitchen

Member
Occupation Head cook, Mark's Kitchen & Smokin' BBQ
From santa rosa,california,usa
Member since Mon 21 Jun 04

Re: When does Basil taste like Basil?

LorettaJoe.L

Thank you for the info. I have bought a second plant and they both look good. I have not started to pick the leaves as yet but am getting close. Silly question, but do you pick the leaves from the underside closest to the dirt, or the outer leaves, or maybe it doesn't matter. Also, pick the leaf and stem or leave the stem?
Sorry for the basic questions but my 1st go round with herbs.
Where in Calif do you reside?

Mark

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#14 Thu 03 May 12 11:49pm

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: When does Basil taste like Basil?

Hi Mark, it is really worth pinching out the tops as first choice for picking the leaves. Then new growth comes out both sides of the snip and your plant gets bigger and bushier.
I love how my first little harvest are just tiny leaves to add to a salad and then as the summer goes on a pick more and more until I am giving bunches away.
Ofcourse, the leaves that aren't at the top start complaining and yammer for attention by growing enormous! And you can add them to the harvest as you like! smile

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#15 Fri 04 May 12 1:52am

mark's kitchen

Member
Occupation Head cook, Mark's Kitchen & Smokin' BBQ
From santa rosa,california,usa
Member since Mon 21 Jun 04

Re: When does Basil taste like Basil?

JoyYamDaisy, Thank you. Thats perfect! I love them little critters, umm, I mean baby leaves. This is going to be fun watching these plants grow and eating them too.

Mark

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#16 Thu 17 May 12 9:57pm

Thissalantine

Member
Member since Thu 14 Apr 11

Re: When does Basil taste like Basil?

Your basil lost its flavor because you either fertilized it, or grew it in soil that was fertilized before you brought it home in a bag. =O Thankfully, the folks at the garden store I shop at warned me of this  when my purchase included several envelopes of herb seeds. Avoid packaged soil that says it will promote healthy flower growth - you're going to trim your herbs before they develop flowers, and keep trimming them so they don't go to seed. Plants concentrating on making seed will not use a lot of energy making new offshoots full of tasty leaves.  Also, get enough seed to plant more than all-at-once so that you can have young healthy plants all season long. Good luck and happy cooking! clap

Last edited by Thissalantine (Thu 17 May 12 9:58pm)

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#17 Thu 17 May 12 10:39pm

mark's kitchen

Member
Occupation Head cook, Mark's Kitchen & Smokin' BBQ
From santa rosa,california,usa
Member since Mon 21 Jun 04

Re: When does Basil taste like Basil?

Thank you, the little herb garden in pots is doing well. I have been picking the basil as well as chives. I have a couple cherry tomatoe plants in pots, in stands, that I am going to try and teach to grow down instead of up, wish me luck!

Mark

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