New to Australia, gardening, and this forum!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by PestoMuncher, Oct 30, 2019.

  1. PestoMuncher

    PestoMuncher Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi everyone! I moved to Brisbane about a month ago and since it's a sub-tropical climate I decided I may as well try my hand at gardening. Basil is one of my favourite vegetables to eat so it's the first thing I'm going to try and grow. I've currently got about 20 seedlings of various different Basil varieties that I grew from seed. I've got sweet basil, thai, lemon, blue african, blue spice, dark opal, and dwarf bush. Today I ordered some mammoth basil seeds that should arrive in a few days - I'm excited to grow that! GIANT basil leaves! :D
    I wonder what would happen if I bred dwarf bush basil with mammoth basil. Would the result just be normal basil? I'm gonna try it haha.

    Any other basil enthusiasts on here?
     
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  2. Wedgetail

    Wedgetail Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi and welcome PestoMuncher I grow a couple of plain old basil but don't use it much plenty of good stuff to read on hear. Cheers Dave
     
  3. PestoMuncher

    PestoMuncher Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks for the welcome Dave! Love your profile pic btw. What's your dog's name? My mouse (in my profile pic - he's a bit hard to see because he's small and he sort of blends in with the armchair I'm sitting on) is named Fluffy. :)
     
  4. Ray Speed

    Ray Speed Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    any Basil is good basil
    use it alot in cooking, we have had mixed success with Basil where we are,
     
  5. Wedgetail

    Wedgetail Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi PestoMuncher her name is Jessie she is a bull Arab we got her when she was 3 months old she will be 6 on Chrisman day this year. Dave
     
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  6. DTK

    DTK Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Welcome PestoMuncher. I am also in Brisbane an d have no trouble growing basil. I can't see why you should have any trouble. All the best, Dan
     
  7. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi PestoMuncher, welcome. Great to see young people taking an interest in growing your own food.
    Nothing like knowing 100% the provedance of your food.
    Basil loves rich soil but also, certain varieties thrive on poor soil as seen with greek basil.
    Same goes for water requirements. Some types like more than others. The sweet basil loves rich soil or growing medium, lots of fertilizer and water. Which is why it grows so well in hydroponics.

    The taller bush varieties will tolerate poor conditions while the shorter leafier varieties like the good conditions.

    You might not have a lot of luck crossing them because there are several different families of the basil plant and not necessarily related sufficiently to pollinate.
    But good on you for giving it a go. You never know what you will come up with.
     
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  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Welcome!

    Thai Basil is one of my favs because it will grow all year round in the subtropics. However, nothing beats a nice big fat juicy traditional basil leaf for pesto! :)
     
  9. PestoMuncher

    PestoMuncher Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks Mark! I enjoyed your youtube video about Basil - that's what brought me to this forum haha.

    ClissAT yes I wish more people were interested in where their food came from. I think a lot of big commercial farmers use some dodgy practices. It's my dream to grow all my own fruits and vegetables - especially since they'll stay much more fresh on the plant with me only harvesting what I need for each meal vs buying from the supermarket and putting it all in the fridge and a week later half of it has gone off!
    My boyfriend is interested in trying hydroponics. It seems a bit technical though so I'm going to leave him to deal with it, I'll just do things the traditional way :p
    Yeah I've heard about the different basil families. I was a bit disappointed to find out my blue african will never produce seeds. But oh well, every mistake is an opportunity to learn. Most of my varieties are Ocimum Basilicum cultivars so I think I'll be able to cross those ones. I'm curious to find out what thai x sweet is like.

    Dan do you ever get bugs eating your basil? I've noticed something munching holes in the leaves of mine and am not sure what it might be since I'm not yet familiar with what bugs live in Queensland.
     
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  10. DTK

    DTK Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi P...M.... ( :) ),

    Fortunately I have not had critters getting my basil. My wife has recently discovered she likes lots of basil. I found a caterpillar this morning in one of my beds. Nearby was some kale that had been attacked quite severely. The caterpillar has now been "dispatched". I was a Padre in the Army for a while. We used to say our work included assisting people through three phases of life: Hatched (born - christening), Matched (weddings), and Dispatched (funerals). If I work hard enough I reckon I could draw parallels with gardening. :)
     
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  11. PestoMuncher

    PestoMuncher Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks DTK. I did see a caterpillar on one of my basil plants today. What's a good way to keep them away? Should I get some netting?
     
  12. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Sometimes you'll get green looper caterpillars but they never do a lot of damage, unlike white butterfly grubs that decimate brassicas.

    The other thing that will make a hole is a green or brown pointed nose grasshopper.

    The best thing to do with grasshoppers and grubs is feed them to the chooks.

    Grubs that come from butterflies are particularly difficult to deter.
    There's a fungus biological control you can buy for white butterfly problems on brassicas.
    Best to identify what grubs you have because some things work on some grubs while other things work on other grubs.
    Netting the plant will help unless it needs pollinating.
     
  13. DTK

    DTK Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    My method is to "dispatch them" manually when I see them. Same same grasshoppers etc.
     
  14. PestoMuncher

    PestoMuncher Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks for the advice! I was planning to hand pollinate anyway because I'd like to try making some hybrids and want to know which flower has been pollinated with which pollen, so I'll get some netting. :)

    Thanks DTK for your advice also. I couldn't bring myself to kill the caterpillar I found so I carried it away and put it on a tree on the other side of the garden XD

    I'm vegan so I'm a bit conflicted over what approaches I should and shouldn't take to deal with pests.
     
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