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Seed Starting: Basil

We've reached mid-January which means it's time to plant some seeds! Today we started a tray of basil.

It's that time of year again! Bulbs are pushing in the yard and the days are getting longer. Spring is on its way, and I am excited. I've been spending a lot of time going through my collection of seeds and thumbing through seed catalogs dreaming up what our 2019 gardens will look like. Well, yesterday I stopped at Valley Nursery in Poulsbo and picked up some seed starting mix as well as two packets of seeds; basil and tomatoes.

Jason rolled his eyes when I showed him the seed packets. I don't exactly have the best track record growing heat-loving plants such as these. Our property has many tall conifer trees that create dark spots year round, not to mention our proximity to Puget Sound creates a milder climate here than a half a mile inland. I have yet to have a successful harvest of tomatoes, and it seems like its only a matter of time before the basil I try to grow flat out dies. But I'm not ready to give up just yet. My next door neighbor has a bumper crop of Sungold cherry tomatoes every year, and there are a number of beautiful gardens throughout the neighborhood. I'm pretty sure it's just me. I need to tweak my methods.

Today, I cleaned out the container my birthday cake came in from Central Market and started a tray of basil in it. The tray isn't very deep, has slightly raised sides and a lid that sits tall and snaps on. It is a perfect little greenhouse! Maybe I should buy a few more cakes...

I used a packet of Ed Hume Seeds that contains an assortment of 12-16 popular basil varieties. I plan to prick out the young plants when they have established a good set of leaves and move them into larger pots. Fingers crossed this year I grow a successful crop.

Carilyn Mae

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