Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Before And After Beauty Shots: Basil

On September 2nd, readers of this blog remember I posted pictures of Sheri (Compost Teana) spraying our basil plants with her aerated compost tea (ACT). This picture shows one particular plant that was sprayed that day. Sheri came back on the 12th and sprayed again - mind you, this isn't just to get some bigger plants, it's to get some bigger plants by September 25th!!

I was able to get out and look at the plants this morning as the day started. I am really impressed with the growth on the plants, but that's not the whole story. Not only are the plants larger, which you can see in the photo below, but the color and thickness of the leaf is also different. The sprayed plants are decidedly darker and the leaves are thicker, more substantial.

I would not suggest that this spraying schedule is the best. In my mind, we are overdoing it and if the plants were treated this way for an entire season, I think you might end up with white fly or aphids (certainly that would be a good experiment!) because the succulent growth is their target. But in our case, where we have to have the goods by the 25th, I don't think the aphids and white fly will gear up fast enough for a full scale invasion.

What I do recommend is using foliar sprays, especially the aerated compost tea done Sheri's way. I would use that once or twice in a season - not three times in three weeks like we have done unless you have, like us, an 'emergency:' You've invited your boss and 60 of her best friends over for a meal of pesto and a gift of a jar for everyone only to discover you only have 35 plants! That kind of emergency.

At any rate, here is the same plant in twelve days showing the phenomenal growth it has put on, and the growth is healthy and lush, not spindly and anemic.  This is wonderful looking basil plant, so robust, caused me to consider coming up with a song, "The Twelve Days of Basil."  While most of it sits unwritten inside my head, day four would be 'four cloves of garlic..."  and I'll leave you with that tune running on a loop inside your head.

ACT - it works! Thanks Sheri!

Where did I put that pesto recipe?


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