Monday, May 03, 2010

Hydroponic Basil and Foliar Feeding

A couple of days ago, I talked about hydroponic mint and foliar feeding and how it seems to be working out just fine.   Will the same treatment work with Basil? That is, will Basil also grow and thrive in a pure water medium?  Let me give you a roundabout answer.

About two and half weeks ago, I went to UPIS to donate a couple of boxes of books.  Just call them up and look for the head librarian, Ms. Wilma Azarcon if you want to donate too.  Anyway, I toured Jean in the school since she's never been there.  To my surprise, my old school has an organic garden.  And there's a green house!  Imagine that.  We didn't have that back in our day.   Can you believe it?  There were rows and rows of sweet basil plots.  As you can see from the picture, they're all about to flower.   Remember when I talked about meaningful coincidences recently? (Since how long ago have I been quoting this book?) Just when I've been obsessing about herb propagation, I get exposed to a farm! Ha!  Naturally, I asked our sweet librarians if I could cut a couple of stems for my pesto.  Of course I took about ten and a number of seed pods.

Yes, I will get to the hydroponic part.  I'm just laying down a date foundation.  Two and a half weeks later, my cuttings now look like this.

More importantly, get a load of this root system.  Not bad for 2 1/2 weeks, right?  So the answer to the hydroponic question is a definite yes.  Like my mints, I've also gone the foliar feeding route (once a day believe it or not).  Unbelievably, they've almost outgrown this big apple juice container.  By the way, if you look at the picture, you'd see that i cut the big bottle about 1/4 of the way from the top.  I inverted it and taped a couple of bottle caps to the side so that the separated part doesn't slip inside the bottle.  Because the hole tapers in, the stems have some support from the bottle's mouth.  Should i put shredded paper beside the stems for support like I did with my tomatoes?  I haven't decided yet.

Next time, I'll show you another basil hyroponic setup and some basil pruning demonstration coming from the same batch of cuttings. Remember I took ten or so big cuttings from the organic farm.


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