For the first round of growing, I wanted something that I was familiar with growing, grew rapidly, and was fairly resilient to abuse. I threw all those needs out and simply used whatever seeds I had leftover from planting over a year ago for the outdoor garden. Basil was the big winner here.
Now, even after giving some plants away and using some for pesto and the like, I have 30+ basil plants.
I need to make room for more experimentation – like removing the spreader mat in the bottom of the channels, and trying different plants and variants of basil.
So, like a used-car-dealer on a Friday night commercial, everything must go! I started by topping all the plants that had a single shoot-tip on the main shoot (stem). This meant they were still growing upwards (vs outwards and getting bushy), and probably were going to want to go into seed-producing mode soon. This means the plant puts all its effort into make flowers and seeds, while the leaves get bitter and tough. I don’t want anything to goto flower or seed here.
After a 15-minute hackathon with the clippers, I had a gallon container filled. I had de-stemmed most of the leaves, so having this much of just leaves was pretty impressive.
I continued to clip any basil getting tall, and ended up with about 3 gallons of unpacked basil. I used about 6 cups (packed) for an awesome pesto, and put the remaining leaves into gallon zip-lock bags, sucked the air out of them, and put them in the freezer for the time being. They will stay bright green and mostly crisp this way (just make sure you get all the air out, then it helps to re-suck the air after about 10 mins in the freezer).
Here is part of the pile of basil from the day.
Even after harvesting that much, the garden is still pretty dense.
lettuce harvest & Regrow experiment
A few days, I made a salad for two with a single plant of lettuce that had grown quite large. I cut it off at the bottom of the stem. It appears to be growing a few shoots back. But time will tell if it’ll regrow.