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Growing basil seedlings and learning something new about dill

Sweet Basil
May 01, 2023

From the Benton County Demonstration Garden. 
My little basils are unfurling their first true pair of leaves! Among the 7 varieties I’m growing I expected Mammoth to produce the largest and more vigorous seedlings as I think everyone would! But in my bunch, the largest so far are Sweet and Spicy Saber. Surprise!

While my baby basils are joy to my eye, my little dills seem to trying escape from the place they’ve been grown in. I keep them in a heated garage under a fluorescent lamp 24 hours, so the lack of light is unlikely to be the reason. I did an online research, and here’s what I learned:

Dill has a long taproot - like that of carrot! - and, hence, should be grown in very deep pots, 8’’ at least.

I don’t like when my plants look sad, it makes me feel guilty, so I wanted to know for sure if it was my fault and returned to the manufacturer’s instructions on the seed envelopes. Specifically for dill, there’s no recommendation on starting indoor, so this seemed to be my only bad…

But no one likes feeling guilty, right? So I went ahead and checked out the instructions on all of the seed packages I have. Apparently, some manufacturers give instructions just for sowing the seeds directly, not mentioning the option of starting indoor at all, even if it’s possible. So… next time, I will compare the growing instructions from different companies on the same plant to find out if it’s practical to start it indoor. If no one mentions that, it’s probably better to wait till warm.

You can visit the Benton County Fairgrounds Demonstration Garden. Master Gardener volunteers are there working on Wednesdays, 9-11am, but the garden is always open. 110 SW 53rd St. Corvallis, OR 97333. Enter from 53rd St. The garden is on the south side of the fairgrounds, by the chain link fence, on the south side of the Floral Courtyard.
dill seedlings in soil

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