Of everything I planted this summer, the thing I had the fewest expectations for was the basil. It was pretty much an afterthought; it wasn’t on my list when I visited the garden centers to pick out the flowers and vegetables I would plant.
Rather, it was only when I was looking at the tomato plants that I caught a whiff of the sweet basil and thought “That smell would be nice in my garden.” I had zero experience with basil, really almost no experience with herbs at all. Sure, I had grown dill in my Wisconsin garden. I don’t really count that though. Dill is easy-peasy. Sow a few seeds and you have it for life. Sometimes you have to actually work to get rid of it.
Regardless, I bought some basil and a small chives plant and planted the two on the outside edge of my raised beds. No real expectations. If they grew, great. If not, no big loss. Maybe I should have approached the veggies I really wanted to grow that way! More than once during the summer I expected the basil to stop producing. Especially during the hottest portions of August, when the chives finally gave out. Not so the basil. It would start flowering, I would cut off the flowers, and it would just keep growing.
In fact, it’s still producing. Every 10-14 days, I cut off a bunch of leaves for use in my kitchen or the kitchens of my co-workers. Every 10-14 days, I wonder if that time will be the last time I get a bagful of the aromatic leaves.
It’s almost Oct. 1 and although the basil (top photo) doesn’t quite look as robust and green as earlier in the summer (other photos in this post), it still appears to be going strong.