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in The potting shed
Hi I have been trying for years to grow healthy Basil plants, I have tried seeds, plugs and those plants you get from the supermarket. The basil always seems to get so big, then the stems near the soil go black and it gets covered in tiny flies. I keep the plants on my kitchen window sill, as they are mediteranean plants, but this seems to happen every time!!! I don't want to spray them with insecticide, and whaen I used a soap solution the plant died spectacularly (although I suspect I may not have made the soap solution correctly ) any helpful hints would be much appreciated!!
Most summers you can put them outside once the weather warms up - in fact my 25 pots full were outside (in the warmest sunniest spot we had) most of this summer until I turned what had not been used in cooking into pesto. They need good air circulation and they also like their feet to be kept relatively dry - I suspect yours have been too damp, given that the fungus gnats seem to have invaded the pots.
Don't worry about spraying fungus gnats, just keep the compost a bit drier.
I sow sweet basil seed thinly in a tray in early spring and pot on into little plastic pots when they have two proper leaves - they grow very slowly until the weather warms up when they grow like crazy and need potting on again - I put three plants in a 6" diameter pot and they stay there. Pick leaves from the sides, don't pick out the tip.
Hi, Thanks for the information, I will try the seeds again this year and maybe be a bit more patient with them. Obviously less is more, less plants in one pot! and i'll let the soil dry out more before watering.