annastasia76
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basil won't sprout!!

I keep reading all over the internet that basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow but I have been trying to grow it for the last 3 years and it just won't sprout, I don't know what I am doing wrong.

I have tried in containers and in the ground, in the containers I have tried with potting soil, potting soil mixed with dirt and dirt with compost. I keep it moist and make sure that it is not planted too deep, I have even tried just tossing the seed on top and not covering to see if that works but nope.

any suggestions on how to get basil to grow??

also once I do get it to sprout how much do I have to thin it, how far apart to the plants need to be?

I have been checking the stores, last year they had basil by now but they seem to have every herb but basil.
Annastasia

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Duh_Vinci
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Strange, really is... As I really don't think there are any secrets to growing basil. It usually sprouts in 10-15 days (depending on the variety). I plant 3-4 seeds per cavity when I start indoors. They do start out pretty slow, but take off eventually, and by the end of the season basically become a little trees.

I also start them directly in the ground, when it's warm enough, and still no issues...

Different seed sources perhaps?

Regards,
D

annastasia76
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I buy the seeds from the store, the brand is burpee
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applestar
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Have you noticed how basil seeds look kind of like frog eggs after they get damp? The exude some kind of a gel, it seems, that turn opaque.

When I plant basil, I push them into the surface of the soil without burying them... About 1" apart. I soak the container of soil (home made seed starting mix) in water that comes 1/2 way up the side of the container, then drain the container and mist the surface of the soil for good measure. Then I put some kind of a humidity dome on top. Usually top part of ventilated berry container.

The black (or brown) shiny basil seeds soon become encased in the gel. I mist them daily until I see tiny root radicles poke out and start to push their way down in the soil. Sometimes, they have trouble digging their way in so I push some surrounding soil over them --usually the ones that I do cover this way anchor themselves into the soil better. You can always do that later too, tough -- up to the base of their seed leaves.

Late last summer, I had harvested some basil seeds earlier in the day, then later was watering the garden. All of a sudden, I noticed a whole bunch of "frog eggs" on the foliage of one of the vegs. Really wondered if they could be tree frog eggs :shock: -- It took me a few minutes to remember the basil seeds and realize that I had spilled some that were now gellin' from the water I had sprinkled. :lol:

annastasia76
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I have never noticed them doing that, I still have more seeds, I can try replanting then cover, is it ok to cover them like that outside, I can't do my seeds inside, I don't have a light set up.
Annastasia

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rainbowgardener
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If you are planting outside, you still need to use potting soil, not garden dirt. And you need to be sure the soil is warm enough. Basil seeds need soil temps at 75 degrees to sprout. I start my basil indoors on a heat mat and it does fine.
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Susan W
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While talking basil sprouting and growing, I have a question. Basil seeds sprouted, both green and purple, in less then 1 week. Kept now with good light and heat. How long before true leaves? Am I being impatient looking at 10 days? 2 weeks?!

Perhaps as 'Watched pot never boils' is checking on the little sprouts too often!
Have fun!
Susan

nanette k
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basil won't grow

For two years here in CT my basil came up in pitiful amounts. Years before they were a cinch. I tried 2 plantings last summer. Everything else was fine. What happened?

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rainbowgardener
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See all the above, for things basil needs. Also depends on the variety. I start a green and a red or purple basil from seed every year. The red/ purple ones are a lot more finicky. Never have any trouble with green, but the red ones have lower germination rate, slower germination, slower growth. I plant the green ones at least two weeks later than the reds and they quickly catch up.

I put the basil seeds on top of my potting soil, gently push them in, just barely, not so they are buried, just so they are in contact with the soil. Then I very lightly dust a tiny bit more potting soil over them. They have bottom heat and bottom water and they do fine.

I do think the cheap Burpee seeds from the store aren't the best. I get seeds from Park, Jung, Henry Fields and other reputable catalogs and have never had any trouble with them.
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Susan W
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Back to basics? Basil?!
I planted basil (green, opal and ruffles) in peat pellets end of January. Put tray on top of frig with cover. Within a few days sprouted, took cover off. Put tray by window. I had some extra heat there, perhaps up to 70, down at night.
2nd leaves real slow, 1st showing in 2 1/2 weeks, some still just beginning to show.
I potted up a few end of Feb (1 month from seed planting), a few more a few days ago. Most showing 2nd leaf set, opal out-doing the others. Some still in the starter things.
I am thinking things are so slow due to chilly? They are out when pretty, in sheltered spot (65-70), usually bring in if going below 45-50.

As a side note, the few straggly basil plants I have left from Aug-Sept planting seem to like being outside when possible.
Have fun!
Susan

lily51
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Basil started in potting mix germinates fairly quickly (4-7 days), then can take a little time to get first 2 true leaves. My spicy globe basil seemed to want to not get its true leaves, then after 16 days, all of a sudden had huge true leaves.
I'll be starting my other basils (lemon, lime, purple ruffles, thai, cinnamon, etc) next week. They are one herb that don't frustrate me, but others certainly can...in fact, if anyone has "sage" advise, please pass it along! :)

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Gary350
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Every time I grow basil from seeds it take 2 to 3 weeks to get the seeds to grow and if I don't keep the soil above 70 degrees they won't grow at all.

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