Saturday, July 26, 2008
One of the tastiest treats from the garden has to be fresh pesto.
You can get my recipe for fresh pesto here.
With this goal in mind I planted some basil in my garden a couple of years ago.
What a pretty little basil plant. I put it in my garden and watered it and weeded it and waited.
This is what happened. (obviously these aren't the actual pictures at that time but they do illustrate my point.)
There wasn't enough basil there to make a good spring roll let alone a cup of pesto.
I decided that there must be some secret to growing basil that I just wasn't allowed to know because it sure didn't work for me.
Then.... last year at the Baker's Creek Spring Garden Show I met a lovely man selling gorgeous plants that let me in on THE SECRET. I didn't have to sell one of my kids to get it either. hee hee I just just had to look pathetic which I did to the best of my ability. Then I bought several of his basil varieties and had the best basil patch ever.
Here is THE SECRET. . . . . . You have to prune it. Easy hugh!?!
Here is how.
Look back at the picture of the cute little plant. See how it has two leaves? That is important. On a basil plant the leaves grow in twos opposite each other. As the little plant sends up the stalk it will grow two more leaves.
You need to go to those two leaves and prune about one inch or so above them.
Here is another example on my purple plant.
When you cut the stalk the two nodes at the leaves grow branches. On those branches will be two more leaves. Cut there and you will grow four more and so on till you have a bush big enough to make a gallon of pesto. Happy thought. :o)
Here is what my little plants looked like after about three or four pruning.
I pruned them way back this week and they are even bigger now.
Good luck with yours.