A friend asked recently if I’ve got any basil. She meant seedlings, to share. She has an elderly Mom living with her and their routine on Mother’s Day is to plant an herb garden together, which I think is so adorable. I’ve given her my extra seedlings in the past. This year, I was embarrassed to tell her that I had nothing to share. Not yet, at least. Maybe by Mother’s Day, then? Hmm, not sure, but I’ll let you know. A week before, so you can make other preparation. If I fail you. That was how the conversation went.


The basil is just kind of sitting there this year. Heck, none of the plants I started this year is anywhere near “normal” size. Last year I had young basil leaves big enough for a taste by this time, and tomato plants that needed a scolding for hogging indoor space. I guess The Novice Gardener is staying true to her title.


Truly, I have no idea why these plants are so slow-growing and pathetic-looking. I did have a later start this year, but not by much. I usually started most of my seeds by mid-February, and by the end of April most of them were ready to be transplanted into the ground. One year I even got a Sunsugar tomato ripening by the end of May.

This year, I started my seeds the first week of March, so they’ve had about 8 weeks now. They should be big enough at least to transplant into bigger pots. Only a few plants seem ready. The rest is taking their time. The weather hasn’t been cooperative; it’s been a cold spring, much colder than any in recent years. So there, I’ll just blame it on the weather. Then again, I switched to a different potting mix this year. In an effort to be completely organic, I bought a bag of organic potting mix instead of the usual Miracle-Gro. The package said 100% organic and the price was reasonable, but the mix didn’t look good when I opened it. There were wood chips in it, but I wasn’t going to waste it so I just went with it. I guess I’m paying for it now.

I will give these seedlings a douse of diluted fish emulsion and hopefully they’ll respond positively. If not, there will undoubtedly be trips to the nurseries and there’s always next year.