THE BASIL CHRONICLES: Chapter 1 — 'Allo Basil!


This past winter, I attempted to grow a lush bounty of parsley, only to have it all die off within three months, the victim of my poor farmer skillz (or perhaps Ikea’s worthless seeds). We’ll never know what exactly went wrong in that lil parsley cup, but I must admit — I was a little scarred by the experience. Could I ever go down such a road again? Invest three months time for something that will be a colossal FAIL?
The answer, of course, is yes.
Recently, I’ve been looking to start the process over — perhaps with not just parsley, but basil and green onions and dill and thyme. The question, however, was whether or not I’d start the plants from scratch or simply buy one that was already in full-swing. I decided that to honor the process, I would start with seeds — because really, there’s no drama in a plant that’s already been grown. However, today at Trader Joe’s, I came across a big ol’ basil plant, and I began to rethink things. For $2.99, I could save myself a few months of work — work that may or may not pay off. The downside would be a loss of a narrative arc (there’s much drama in watching a seed bloom into a plant. Much much). But then I remembered something: this is me we’re talking about. If anyone’s capable of destroying a perfectly healthy plant, it’s this moi. The mere act of keeping this horticultural glory alive will be drama enough to warrant its own serialized column. So I present to you the Basil Chronicles, which will follow this basil plant as it inevitably reaches a slow and painful death at my bumbling hands. OR WILL IT? I guess you’ll just have to keep coming back to find out.
Currently taking bets on how long the plant will last…

7 replies on “THE BASIL CHRONICLES: Chapter 1 — 'Allo Basil!”

  1. Basil is pretty easy to grow as long as it get lots of sun….but read up on it. In order to be truly successful and grow a bushy plant you are supposed to trim it in a specific way – something about pinching off the flower buds or something. Anyway, look forward to watching the progress. Godspeed, young Ben.

  2. No way! Vern just bought the same exact plant at TJ’s. I’m not much of a horticulturist, but I hope it survives through summer. Maybe you can make your own mozzarella to go with the basil for a more interesting narrative arc.

  3. You told me a few weeks ago you would be going herbs. Time to add some more to give the basil company.
    I picked my first ripe cherry tomatoes of the season this week. The growing in a container on the patio. I was surprised they set and ripened so soon since the San Diego weather has been very cool.
    Good luck!

  4. buying an already lush basil plant is like sitting next to Ginny on an airplane. You know what you’re gonna get, but you just might kill it anyway.

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