Basil Boost

Next time you buy a pot of basil, try this idea to boost your harvest and VFM;

Take the plant out of the pot, and using a sharp knife cut the root ball into quarters,  trying to get an even spread of stalks in each portion, and be careful not to damage the leaves. Take your time, using a sawing action. Basil doesn’t like having the roots pulled apart and then being re-pot, but I have found that if you cut the root ball, most of the roots remain undisturbed and they recover well. You can then re-pot each portion into a similar sized pot, adding some extra compost from a grow bag or even ordinary soil if that’s all you have. Water very well, and after a few days recuperating you will have 4 basil pots for the price of one. The plants will fill the original space and bush out. A little fertiliser will help too if you have some handy.

Here are my 4 pots from a 69p original one.

When it comes to harvesting, don’t pick a leaf here and there, pick all the leaves from one stalk. Cut the stalk off just above the lowest pair of side shoots with some scissors. These shoots will grow into two new stalks in time, which will give you another flush of leaves later. (see photo below where I have cut the stem) Follow this round your 4 plants in turn, taking the tallest stalks as you need them.

Keep the plants in a bright window, water well, and turn them every few days so they don’t bolt towards the window. You will be amazed at the extra basil you’ll produce this way for very little outlay.

Potato trials

We found some Taste The Difference potatoes in the best before tray. They didn’t look too good for eating due to some green patches on the skins (which is poisonous) and signs of shoots appearing on the tubers. It’s quite possible that they would have ended up not being sold at all and therefore wasted. Let’s try to save them… Continue reading “Potato trials”