Basil – Italian Large Leaf

basil20large20leaf20organicFeb 26, 2016 = Day 0.  Plants started from seed (Botanical Interests).  Seeds sowed in 1.5-inch rockwool cube in 2-inch net-pot.  Moistened with dilute fertilizer solution: 1.2 mL Dyna-Gro Liquid Grow, 0.8 mL pH Down per gallon of tap water.  Nutrient concentrations (in ppm):  N 22, P 29, K 16, Ca 6, Mg 1.6, S 0.2, Fe 0.3, Mn 0.2, B 0.1, Zn 0.2, Cu 0.2, Mo 0.003, Ni 0.0003, Co 0.005.  pH = 6.0.

Feb 29 = Day 3.  Plants germinated, placed directly under a fluorescent light (2 ft. T8 bulb, 17W, 6500k) for 16 hours per day.

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Mar 9 = Day 12

Mar 12 = Day 15.  Installed plants into 5-gallon bucket.  Hydroponic solution composed of 5 gal (18.9 L) tap water, 75 mL 250x Masterblend 4-18-38, 75 mL 250x calcium nitrate, 75 mL 250x magnesium sulfate, 1 mL Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt, 5 mL pH Down.  (This solution is equivalent to 5 gallons water, 10 g Masterblend, 10 g calcium nitrate, 5 g magnesium sulfate).  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 = 6.0.  Plants moved to indoor grow room, receiving 9 hours LED grow light per day, plus 3 hours sunlight per day.

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Mar 19 = Day 22
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Mar 29 = Day 32

Apr 2 = Day 36.  Thinned to 1 plant per net-pot, also trimmed plants back to encourage branching.

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Apr 7 = Day 41
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Apr 19 = Day 53
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May 2 = Day 66
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May 26 = Day 90

May 28 = Day 92.  Added 1.0 gallon fresh hydroponic fluid.

Jun 5 = Day 100.  Harvested all leaves.  Processed the leaves along with pine nuts and olive oil to make a fine pesto sauce, which was frozen away for later use.

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Basil – Genovese

Genovese basil is a bit slower growing than the Italian Large Leaf variety.  The leaves are also slightly smaller than Italian Large Leaf.  This is an excellent variety for making pesto.

Nov 4, 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.

Nov 9, 2015 = Day 5.  Seeds germinated.  Transferred to grow room, receiving 3 hours sunlight + 5 hours LED grow-light per day.

Nov 26, 2015 = Day 22.  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.  2-3 plants are growing in each net-pot.

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Dec 10, 2015 = Day 36
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Dec 18, 2015 = Day 44
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Dec 28, 2015 = Day 54

Plants were getting tall and falling over, so I installed a 42-inch wire tomato cage around the bucket to help keep the plants upright:

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Jan 8, 2016 = Day 65
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Jan 20, 2016 = Day 77
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Feb 28 = Day 116

Mar 8 = Day 125.  Added 0.5 gal of fresh hydroponic fluid.  Harvesting leaves every other week for making pesto sauce.

Mar 16 = Day 133.  Added 1.0 gal of fresh hydroponic fluid.

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Mar 19 = Day 136

Mar 25 = Day 142.  Added 0.5 gal of fresh hydroponic fluid.

Mar 31 = Day 148. Added 0.75 gal of fresh hydroponic fluid.

Apr 13 = Day 161.  Added 0.5 gal of fresh hydroponic fluid.

Apr 16 = Day 164.  Added 1.25 gal of fresh hydroponic fluid.

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Apr 19 = Day 167

May 11 = Day 189.  Added 1.0 gal of fresh hydroponic fluid.

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May 26 = Day 204

May 26 = Day 204.  All remaining leaves harvested for making a big batch of pesto sauce.  Total amount of fluid used = 9.5 gallons.

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.