Thai Basil question.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

How long does it take to propagate? I've been waiting for what seems like forever. Probably over a week now. Maybe the seeds are to old.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I have found all types of basil can be a bit slow to germinate. It definitely requires patience. lol

It is also possible the seeds are older and not viable. That is not uncommon with basil seed. Have you had the seed a while?

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Yes, at least a year old maybe longer. I planted a whole tray of the darn things. I'll give them some more time I guess.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I would leave them for another week or two. Although you might not get 100% germination, I'd bet some will germinate.

You planted them shallowly? Are you starting them in the ground or in pots?

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Yes, I planted them almost on the very surface. Just scratched them into the potting soil a bit. There in small pots and I've been keeping them moist.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

That should do it. If they are inclined to germinate, they will. Let us know how they end up?

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

I went out today and some are actually starting to germinate. I guess I should have waited another day. Thanks!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Good deal! It is hard to be patient when we want to get them in the ground, isn't it?

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Yes, you got that right. I'm just waiting on the seeds to grow. I got the ground prepared already

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Basil is pretty forgiving. I planted two different kinds of tiny basil plants today around the borders of my raised beds and they never even wilted down. It also amazes me that they smell wonderful with only one set of leaves too.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Good to know. I really only have grown Italian type basil in the past. It's been a while though I remember just sprinkling the seeds around the garden and they grew. That's about what I'm going to do. Plant them as a border plant around my garden raised area.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I've never grown Thai basil. One of my favorites that I am using for the borders is a small leafed mounding basil called Pistou.

I'm also trying two new basils this year. First year for Ararat and Yeome. Last year I grew licorice basil and loved it. It blooms and I suspect it reseeded which should mean volunteers.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Sounds good, maybe one day I'll try the Pistou. I got some other type of basil or mint on the side of my house and that stuff has reseeded too.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

When we live in areas that aren't always the best for growing things, it is nice to have plants that will volunteer and endure.

Your mint will spread by seed and by roots. Another hardy herb that I like and does well here is rosemary. It is a pretty shrub too.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Yes, Rosemary is a nice one. Very fragrant and even drought tolerant which is nice.

I also have some spearmint and that stuff spreads pretty good by rhizomes if it gets enough water. So you are right on that one. At first I thought you were writing about Basil and I had to stop and think. Sometimes I get the two confused.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

And it is easy to get corrupted on herbs and vegies. LOL Always wanting to try new and more and different ones. I have limited time and growing space so need to be selective.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

I know I have a little plastic cabinet type thing full of old seeds I had bought. That's one of the reasons I decided to plant that Basil I have almost a whole zip lock bag full of those tiny seeds. You are more than welcome to some if you'd like. Just send me a message if so.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks but I'm going to resist temptation. I really am needing to limit my plants. Thank you for the generous offer though. By the way, I store my excess seeds in the freezer. It seems to keep them more viable for longer time.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Really, the freezer? Never heard of that one.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I worried at first that it would ruin the seeds but I've had success with germination of older seeds.
I had read it here on DG first and must say it works for me.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Maybe I need to try that. I don't want all of my seeds to expire on me.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Ha, you two are funny! I bet alot of us are the same. I know I have to draw the line on either buying more seeds or plants because of limited space, time and arthritis! But I happen to have some Thai basil seeds and now I have some info on growing them. I'll see what happens. I've grown it as a plant and it did great. I also grew Lemon Basil and it reseeded like crazy! It came up in my gravel walkway I used to have and all within a 5 ft radius of where it was planted. My other basils have not done that. Janet

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

I know that's right Janet! Space is at a premium here and I don't feel like digging up anymore grass or cutting down any trees. LOL!

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Do you have your basil on a heat mat?

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Me Evelyn? No, it's in the 90's here so there is no need.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Hi Evelyn... I don't use a heat mat either. Have you heard of wintersowing? I use that style to germinate the seeds. When it works for me, I hate to rock the boat.

Yum ~ lemon basil is wonderful too. I grew lemon and lime basil at the same time and the seeds were crossed for a quite interesting basil blend next season.

Too many seeds here. I hope to wait till right before a good soaking rain. I have a container mix of wildflower & flower seeds that I will sprinkle in the ditches by our driveway. I did that a few years back with purple coneflowers and am now seeing the blooms. That will kill two birds... eliminate some of my old seed and beautify the neighborhood. Kristi

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

It's 55 here now, but in a few days it will be warmer. The temps have been on a roller coaster ride for some time now, and I am waiting for them to settle. Most years I just direct sow basil outdoors. A lot easier than any other method, but they are slow to grow in cool spring. I still have tomatoes waiting in the wings to go into the square foot gardens. I also sow basil along with them as well.

Edited this post to say that last year I did direct sow them and had a very poor crop. The year before that they were just wonderful. This year I started some inside, of all sorts of basil. I sowed them on 4/28 and most of them are up already. Once they get up to size I will place them outside. Many of them will be companion plants to my veggies. It's not too late to sow more.

This message was edited May 4, 2012 10:13 AM

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

I should have done the same thing.

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