A garden is the best alternative therapy.

Basil Loves Texas Heat

It’s true, basil thrives in hot, dry conditions that make other plants – even heat- and drought-resistant plants wilt.

It’s going to be 109 degrees tomorrow – what I think is our 70th day above 100 degrees and a new all-time record.  The grass looks like hay.  The spring veggie garden is long-perished.   The bare bones of milkweed plants stand in clumps along the fence.  Huge black cracks are forming in the ground, with small sections giving way to darkness below.   It is a terrible sight out there.

cracks in the ground...

Yet the two basil plants I have are loving life. As you can see, they’re bushy and full of aromatic, delectable basil leaves.  There’s enough for us to use fresh throughout the season without worrying about hurting the plants.  In fact, the more we use, the more it grows.  I continue to pick the top leaves off of the plants.  By doing so, I keep the plant from flowering and going to seed.  This ensures that the plant will continue to focus energy on producing more leaves and keeps the oils in the leaves at a higher concentration.  I water this box every few days and the marjoram really prefers the shade offered by the basil bushes.

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Comments on: "Basil Loves Texas Heat" (4)

  1. That is some good lookin’ Basil! I can just imagine how much Pesto you could make with that! ;-)

  2. Wow. I am so impressed by your basil. I would show you pictures of mine but I am too embarrassed. How many plants do you have? What’s your regimen for watering/feeding? It looks delicious!

    • roundrockgarden said:

      Those two plants (yep, only two) were located on the west side of a fence, so were in shade/part-shade until around 11AM and then again after 6PM. The box they’re in measures 2′ x 2′ and they pretty much filled it. I watered them whenever they looked sad – probably twice a week. The soil has plenty of organic material in it to help retain moisture. I didn’t feed them anything but the compost – occasionally compost tea. The real trick is minding them daily to pick off the flowers before they really get formed. This keeps the basil in the vegetative stage and ensures the best oil production. I still have half of these guys as pesto frozen in the freezer!

      • FreeRangePamela said:

        Good to know! I have two plants, too, but they are super scraggly. They are east-facing, though, so maybe they are getting too much sun. I also recently set up automatic watering from our rain barrel (blog post to come ;-)) so hopefully that will help… until it starts getting cold and they die completely.

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