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Basil, more than just a seasoning! — The Grow Network Community
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Basil, more than just a seasoning!

Leslie CarlLeslie Carl Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭

Did you know that adding basil to your diet brings a wide range of amazing benefits that support great health?


According to this article, it can help your body deal with stress, lower blood pressure, relieve systemic body pain, reduce blood glucose levels (great for diabetics), and more. It can even protect your DNA from toxins and radiation (think polution, wifi and emf)! I grew a boatload of basil this year! Now I just have to find more ways to use it in my diet. 🙂


  • toreytorey Posts: 2,326 admin

    Just wondering what kinds you are growing? There are so many to choose from. Unfortunately, I haven't had much luck in the past with growing it. I am not a fan of hot drinks but I recently had Tulsi (Holy Basil) as a tea and really liked it. So I plan on trying to grow that next spring. It is a wonderful adaptogen.

  • Leslie CarlLeslie Carl Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey You're right, there are numerous types! I could have new adventures for years just trying them all. I'm growing Genovese Basil. Basil pesto is my favorite thing to make with it. I haven't tried any of the other types of basil yet. Last year was the first time I grew basil and ever tried using it fresh. Wow! I never knew what I was missing! And the aroma is addicting! It's so great that we can get so many health benefits from it as well!

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 254 ✭✭✭

    I have grown a few different varieties. I have saved some of each kind in my freezer.... Genoese, Thai, cinnamon, lemon, and probably others. I had a huge purple basil in my aquaponics system which I pulled out to clean the system. Needless to says I put it in a small garbage can with some water so I could take some cuttings to clone. Well that’s not needed as I have sprouts growing all around that space from the seeds dropped. The key I have found is it seems to like water here. The more water and sound it gets the happier it is, except holy basil. I cannot seem to get that to grow or the birds keep getting my sprouts.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2019

    @Leslie Carl Thank you for sharing. I grew a lot of Basil (Lemon Basil, Sweet Basil, Genovese Basil, Lettuce Leaf Basil) about a decade or more ago and realized then that I could make an herbal tea with fresh Basil leaves. I had forgotten about some of its medicinal properties, so thank you for sharing. Often times people think that only Holy Basil has medicinal properties.

    I also have been growing Holy Basil for the past three years.

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 541 ✭✭✭✭

    I grew a Purple Basil and Thai Basil this year. I am using the Thai for tea, I love the flavor of it that way. Unfortunately the chickens loved it too so I had to keep rescuing it from them, finally one plant survived and got big enough to harvest.

  • Leslie CarlLeslie Carl Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 That's really cool you have an aquaponics system! We are in the process of building a large greenhouse that we intend to put an aquaponics system in. We are hoping to sell produce from it to some local markets. Not to get off subject, but I would be interested to know how long you've had your system and how large is it?

  • @VickiP

    Purple basil is so pretty in a pot, too!

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 541 ✭✭✭✭

    Yes, it is a beautiful plant. I really enjoyed it. I grow it in a small flower garden and it is as ornamental as anything out there.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 254 ✭✭✭

    @Leslie Carl my system is a midsize backyard system that we built ourselves. It is made from 3 275gallon tanks and one 55 gallon drum. One tank is the fish thank, while the other two are cut in half to make two grow beds, a float bed, and a sump tank. The two grow beds are filled with hydroton or expanded clay with bell siphons in them. The float bed is just a hard styrofoam insulation sheet floating on the surface. The water trickles out the back of the float bed through a tube and back down to the sump tank where all the water collects and it pushed back up to the fish tank via a pump. My growing surface area is 12ft long x 4ft wide. We have had it going 4-5 years now. There is a balancing curve to learn about how many plants to how many fish you have! If you harvest all of your plants at once and don’t put new ones in, it can be havoc on your fish! I learned that one the hard way a few times. You either have to harvest some fish quickly or add more nutrient loving plants. There a been a few times I have ran over to the nursery and bought plant starts that were out of season just to get plants in there. The plants are what filters the toxins out of the water. This is a picture from the float bed end. You can see my basil, blue Hubbard squash and in the background is a tomato plant. The picture was taken October 13th.

  • Leslie CarlLeslie Carl Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 That's fantastic! Thanks for the tips! We plan to have a seedling tray that the fish water is cycled through on it's way to the beds, in order to have seedlings ready to replace what is harvested. I just have to ask one more question... do you find it difficult to clean the hydroton when the bacteria builds up?

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 254 ✭✭✭

    @Leslie Carl

    That is the biggest pain in the rear end IF you let it go to long! Which I did. I cleaned my hydroton for the first time this summer. And honestly I only got half of it clean. Mine was so thick with poop that is was literally covering all the grow media and roots essentially suffocating the roots where they could not breath through it. My plants started to die, which in turn caused some fish to die because I didn’t have enough plants in there. I ended up pulling ALL of the remaining plants out of one bed. We pitched the giant basil plant, and moved the other plants to the other grow bed. We then scooped all the hydroton out of the empty bed and put it in totes and a 55 gallon drum so I could clean it. I ended up sitting on a small garden chair, using a strainer/colander and my hands to move the hydroton from one rinse tub to the next. I had to double and triple rinse most of it. Took me the better part of 3 days. I learned My lesson and will NOT let it get that bad again. I still have to rinse the other bed. I think most of it has worked it’s way through the system because that bed is still flourishing. I have since discovered there is a cone shaped filter that is supposed to help alleviate this issue because the build up settles I. The bottom of the cone instead of in the grow beds. There is a valve in the end of the cone that you can just open and “pour out” the build up. We have a tap hose valve in the side of our 55 gallon drum, but it is not as good at pulling out all the waste as a cone would be. My fish have been reproducing in their tank and now I have tilapia through the whole system, leaving me no idea how many fish I really have. I add plants when I want. If they start to yellow I look for a build up. If nothing is there I add more plants because I figure there must be more fish. If fish start to die, I add more plants 😂. You can get really scientific with it. I don’t. My husband built the system for me and he understands all the mechanics of it. I am the gardener so if I need help I ask, otherwise I pretty much manage the whole yard myself, while working a full time job and commuting about 15 hours/week. I just don’t have a lot of time, so I keep it simple and just focus on growing what I can in there.

  • Leslie CarlLeslie Carl Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭


    Yeah, so that's what we had learned in the course we took... hydroton is a hassle to clean and you have to do it regularly. I was hoping that maybe you had found a simplified way of handling it. Maybe the cone filter could be the way. You'll have to keep me updated on that. We're planning to use deep water troughs and dutch buckets and something our mentors call "Verticalis". It's 3 rows of 6" pvc pipes arranged one above the other vertically with holes for the plants to sit in. Like they do hydroponics.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 254 ✭✭✭

    We did vertical pvc tubes vertically hung with basil. They grow so fast! I had a hard time with roots growing down into the drain and plugging it. The water would then overflow onto the ground from the plant opening. We also had a hard time keeping the tiny tubes flowing and we would constantly have to flush them out. It got to the point we gave up and tore that down. Next time I will do horizontal tubes! If you are changing out plants all the time, vertical will work but we just let them continue to grow and harvested multiple times from each plant.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 254 ✭✭✭

    Sorry for the duplicate, but this was our verticals with Dutch buckets at the end. As you can see by the bucket underneath the one vertical, it was our extra catch basin and told us if we were loosing water.

  • Leslie CarlLeslie Carl Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭

    Wow, you've done quite a bit with your system! If you don't mind me asking, what was the diameter of your tiny tubes in your verticals? Just curious to know if we might have trouble with the size of the horizontal ones we plan to use.

  • alindsay22alindsay22 Posts: 129 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for this post. As I was topping my chicken in my instant pot this evening with basil, I was thinking how I know what properties almost every other herb I use has, but I have never looked up basil. I just like to eat it! Time to go make more pesto....

  • Leslie CarlLeslie Carl Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭
  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 438 ✭✭✭✭

    @Leslie Carl and @gardneto76 thank you for your fun side conversation on hydroponics. It would be great if you wanted to create a separation discussion for this topic, I think many people would enjoy it!

    As for Basil. Oh how I LOVE BASIL! I grow Genevese for Pesto as well and the purple variety of it holds color and looks so fun on pasta! I enjoy Thai basil so much it barely makes it into the kitchen. I grew cinnamon basil for the first time this year and it didn’t do as well as I had hoped but I got some dried and it’s making a lovely addition to fall tea blends. I also grew Tulsi basil this year and brought her inside she is sitting in my kitchen window doing well though not growing (as expected) it is going into winter here. And yes the smell is so addicting! I couldn’t leave my garden without releasing some basil aroma all summer!

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 254 ✭✭✭

    @Leslie Carl we used standard drip line tube we purchased at Home Depot. Those were connected into the larger black irrigation tubes. It was the connections that plugged up on us all the time. We learned after a wile just to pull the connector out and let it flush through.

  • One of the beauties with basil is that it reseeds itself year after year. I saw a pack of 12 types of basil on Amazon that sounds tempting lol. I'm always wanting to try new things to grow and often have a hard time reigning myself in but my fibro does a lot of that now lol.

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