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applestar
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Are bunched basil seedlings easy or difficult to separate?

I started a bunch of basil seedlings in community containers. They are starting to grow first true leaves.

I want to grow a LOT this year and make interesting basil creations including Basil Gelato as well as the usual pesto, etc. so I want to keep most of the seedlings. Are older basil seedlings easy to separate when crowded close like tomato seedlings -- sturdy stems and thicker stronger roots that slip past each other when worked loose -- or are they easier to separate while small by pricking out with a knife or a fork?
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imafan26
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Re: Are bunched basil seedlings easy or difficult to separat

I like to wait until they are a little older with at least the first true leaves. I plant between 15-50 in a 4 inch community pot. I will lose some but usually I lose less when they are bigger.
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applestar
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Re: Are bunched basil seedlings easy or difficult to separat

Thank you for the tip, imafan!

Happy separated first round of Lettuce Leaf Basil and Sweet Dani Lemon Basil seedlings :D

Image

I have scattered germination of vanilla scented Blue Spice Basil which are still too small. I sowed another row from some new seeds a friend sent me. My old Lime, Mrs. Burns Lemon, and Thai basil seeds failed to germinate.

I also started a new round of a really lovely selection of basil varieties thanks to some generous friends who heard about my dilemma Image

In addition to the supplemented Blue Spice...

Basil Genovese

Basil Ararat
Basil Napolitano
Basil Napolitano Mammoth Leaved
Basil Opal (chinese)
Basil Persian
Basil Purple Delight
Basil Reddy Freddy
Basil Tulsi Sacred
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applestar
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Re: Are bunched basil seedlings easy or difficult to separat

Image
...I could only make 9 short rows in this box...
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Shanghaisky
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Re: Are bunched basil seedlings easy or difficult to separat

Quick question.... how long does it take your seedlings to go from popping up to setting first true leaves? My Sweet Basil in a container on the porch germinated poorly (have about 8-10 at most seedlings from sewing much more than that), and they have been sitting there not producing true leaves for a good 2 weeks now.

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applestar
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Re: Are bunched basil seedlings easy or difficult to separat

It's probably too cold? I have them in the house in what I call Winter Paradise shelves -- they are one of those green painted metal pipe/wire shelves covered with vinyl "greenhouse" cover. I leave the front flap open but they are fitted with lights above each shelf and get the last of the westering/setting sun now. Minimum 65°F to 85°F when hot. 6500K daylight T5's.

The first group -Lemon Dani and Lettuce Leaf Basil -- Seeds sown 5/12. First sprouted 5/16
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Shanghaisky
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Re: Are bunched basil seedlings easy or difficult to separat

Hmm. I read today somewhere it takes 2-3 weeks for true leaves to set. It's been colder at night - high 50's, and from high 50's to low 70's daytime. ??? We shall see. They were from a Chia Herb Garden kit someone sent me so the likelihood of them being just so-so seeds I imagine may be high... ha.

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applestar
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Re: Are bunched basil seedlings easy or difficult to separat

Update:

Image
...starting to harden off the separated seedlings. Will be separating the new ones in the berry box very soon...
Bummed that Persian didn't sprout. I probably should try again. I want to get more Purple Delight to grow, too. They look gorgeous! :-()
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321Garden
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Re: Are bunched basil seedlings easy or difficult to separat

Great question! Basil seedlings are easy to separate and grow even better this way. With improved air circulation you also reduce the risk of getting botrytis on the stems.

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