Basil – Italian Large Leaf

Italian Large Leaf basil is a great variety, makes a really nice pesto.  Plant grows quickly.  Plants will be grown in a 5-gallon bucket.

Oct 12, 2015 = Day 0.  Plants started from seed (Botanical Interests).  Moistened with dilute fertilizer: Dyna-Gro Liquid Grow, diluted 1 mL (1/5 tsp) per gallon of tap water.  Nutrient concentrations (in ppm):  N 18, P 24, K 13, Ca 5, Mg 1, S 0.13, Fe 0.26, Mn 0.13, B 0.05, Zn 0.13, Cu 0.13, Mo 0.002, Ni 0.0003, Co 0.004.  pH = 7.0.

Oct 14, 2015 = Day 2.  Seeds germinated.  Transferred to grow room, receiving 3 hours sunlight + 5 hours LED grow-light per day.

Oct 23, 2015 = Day 11.  Plants installed in 5-gallon bucket.  Hydroponic solution composed of 5 gal tap water, 10 g MasterBlend 4-18-38, 10 g calcium nitrate, 5 g magnesium sulfate, 1 mL Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt, 4 mL pH Down.  Nutrient concentrations (in ppm):  N 103, P 95, K 202, Ca 100, Mg 29, S 34, Fe 2.1, Mn 1.1, B 1.1, Zn 0.3, Cu 0.3, Mo 0.05, Si 4.  pH = 6.5.

Dec 5, 2015 = Day 54.  I did a 50% harvest, since plants were getting tall and falling over.  Pruning the plants back results in more branching, resulting in a bushier plant.

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Dec 18, 2015 = Day 67
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Dec 28, 2015 = Day 77

Plants were getting to be around 12-inches tall, so I installed a 42-inch wire tomato cage around the bucket to keep the plants upright:

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Jan 2, 2016 = Day 82
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Jan 8, 2016 = Day 88
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Jan 20, 2016 = Day 100

Jan 30, 2016 = Day 110.  Bucket was starting to feel light (indicating low fluid level), so I added 1 gallon of fresh hydroponic solution.

Feb 10, 2016 = Day 121.  Added 0.5 gallons of fresh hydroponic fluid.  Continuing to harvest leaves every week or 2.

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Feb 12 = Day 123

Feb 26 = Day 137.  Harvested all remaining leaves for making a big batch of pesto.

These basil plants did very well for me, producing lots of high quality leaves for many months.  These plants are done, but I still have lots of Genovese basil currently growing, and I recently started new Italian Large Leaf plants from seed, so I will always have fresh basil on hand.

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