Tuesday, March 31, 2015

basil discovery

I've been growing basil for the past couple of weeks, but I use the word "growing" avisedly, for the plants really don't seem to be growing at all. My studio's main window doesn't allow in any direct sunlight (there's also another apartment building, right next to ours, that blocks light), and I'm not going to leave my heater on all day to "simulate Mediterranean growing conditions." The plants are slightly taller, now, but the leaves are no bigger. There's been, thus far, zero return for my time, effort, and money. Can't say I'm all that impressed.

Meanwhile, when I was at the Yangjae Costco this past Saturday, shopping for the ingredients to make JW's family's lunch, I went into the frigid produce chamber—where they also apparently keep Han Solo—and saw a thing of beauty: huge packs of basil, far larger than the laughably skimpy packets sold at Lotte Mart, on sale for only W5,900. I had to check and see whether my own Costco in Goyang also carried such basil packs, and the answer, as I discovered during tonight's reconnoiter, was...

So, ladies and gentlemen: homemade pesto is coming soon to a theater near you. As for my basil plants... sorry, Charles, but once these plants mature, I'm going to rip off their leaves, toss the main plants, and never grow basil again. Not when fresh basil is this readily available at Costco, and in such massive quantity.



Charles said...

You lack patience, my friend.

Or perhaps this is not the type of basil you're looking for. We like having plants around so we can pick a few leaves at a time to throw in a pasta sauce. If you're looking to make a pesto, though, you're going to want to buy bulk.

The advantage to the plants is that you always have at least a small amount of basil available. You may want to leave your plants around for that. Although I have to say that it's really odd that you've had the plants for weeks and haven't seen any improvement. That hasn't been my experience with basil, even with a relative lack of light. Strange.

Kevin Kim said...


I originally had no concept of how long it would take for basil to grow. Since then, my subsequent online research seems to show a cycle of roughly 50 days for full readiness. I had originally bought the basil plants in the hope that the leaves would be ready within 2 weeks for my luncheon with JW; I was sadly mistaken.

Buying in bulk makes more sense, given my own needs, than growing basil for just a few leaves to put in a sauce that I'll make only periodically.

Charles said...

Oh, yeah, it definitely doesn't grow that fast. Still, it sounds like your plants are growing even slower than usual. I'm curious how long it will take for them to reach the harvestable stage.