London (change)
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03/07/2014 at 13:10

I've just bought two basil plants from Asda, to eat.

But now I'm wonder if I could force one to seed and harvest them for next year? Had a look around on google only finding how to harvest after they seed, and how to sow them, but nothing on how and why they seed, or if I can manipulate them to seed

03/07/2014 at 13:14

Plants from super markets are pretty much forced to start with and are not the best option for new plants (still a option though). I would just buy a pack of seeds as they are so easy to grow.

03/07/2014 at 14:06

A packet of basil seeds will cost you less than two plants from a supermarket, and, sown next spring will provide you with hundreds of plants 

03/07/2014 at 14:19

Yeah much cheaper Dove lol

Just wanted to do it for the fun of it.

03/07/2014 at 15:03

You can also propagate it like mint.  Take a decent stem, strip of fthe lower leaves and put it in a glass of water.  Once decent roots from, pot into compost.   Do it regularly and you can perpetutae your plants through the year and keep yourself supplied from just one or two plants.

03/07/2014 at 15:57

Ah ok, thanks Obelixx. Do they just not flower in the UK?

I have grow lights, I could manipulate them very easily.

03/07/2014 at 16:02

Mel..........they will flower and set seed here.  You can harvest and sow next Spring.  I think what most people are saying is that if you let it flower and seed, the leaf crop is  then not so good.  If growing for the leaves, best not let it flower


03/07/2014 at 18:08

Yeah I see. Thank you Philippa. I've done the same to a spinach plant and been warned no to eat the leaves at this point. Do you have any idea when they flower? There's no sign of bolting at all just now, maybe it will happen if I give it miracle-gro and lots of sunshine?

I found a post online about a women worried about her's bolting, it wasn't this year, but it was in July.. feeling hopeful!

03/07/2014 at 18:13

If you want plants to bolt, sow/plant them too close together at the wroing time, don't feed, water erratically and forget to harvest.  Never fails for me!

03/07/2014 at 18:57

sounds like what's happened to my spinach! Bolted already! At great speed! And I've seemingly followed your instructions to a tee Steve!

03/07/2014 at 19:15
Mel, maybe I'm reading your posts wrong, but why do you want your plants to bolt. Most gardeners spend their time trying to prevent their plants bolting, or going to seed.
03/07/2014 at 20:22


04/07/2014 at 17:54

Hi everyone, i'm new to gardening & still learning so please excuse my ignorance, what does "bolting" mean?

04/07/2014 at 18:00

Waz...........Basically means that your plant throws up a flower spike when you don't want it to..........applies to most leafy veg and is sure to happen if you follow Steve's advice  Something to avoid in your veg garden unless you are growing specifically to harvest seed.

04/07/2014 at 18:01

Bolting means that a plant that is grown for its leaves, like a lettuce, puts up a flowering stalk.  It usually means that the plant is unusable.  

Of course, almost all plants will flower, but we've developed our vegetable varieties to delay this so that we can eat the leaves.  

However, if a plant is subjected to stress, e.g. lack of water, or if it's sown at the wrong time of the year, it will try to flower sooner than we want it to.

Hope that's clear - if not please say 

04/07/2014 at 18:01

Snap Philippa 

04/07/2014 at 18:09

Your explanation is more detailed and elegant Dove

04/07/2014 at 18:14
You just want to play dont you mel ???
04/07/2014 at 18:23


04/07/2014 at 18:41

Thanks for the info everyone, i have a basil plant in my greenhouse which i like to use just for fresh basil in my meals but it is budding & a flower has just started to develop today. I do just want it for the leaves so should i just trim the flower & the buds off?

1 to 20 of 23 messages