New to Australia, gardening, and this forum!

PestoMuncher

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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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Wedgetail

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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
 

PestoMuncher

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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. :)
 

Ray Speed

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

Wedgetail

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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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DTK

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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
 

ClissAT

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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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Mark

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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! :)
 

PestoMuncher

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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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DTK

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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.
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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PestoMuncher

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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?
 

ClissAT

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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.
 

DTK

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

PestoMuncher

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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.
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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ClissAT

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The philosophical argument is always very strong with many things in our lives be it vegan based or simply the management of long term friends.

Its like right now for me. My 3 very old horses that used to pay for themselves because I trained them up over many years to be demonstration horses for a non-invasive, non-violent, respectful horse training method, are now costing me more than I have to feed through the drought.
Everyone is harping at me and pressuring me to get the vet and put them down.
But these are very intelligent horses now, having learned to learn, so act and think as good as an 8-10 year old child. Would you put down your 10yo kid? Or leave them to fend for themselves if a fire came along? They look to me for leadership and trust me.
But in the end how do I pay for this very expensive feed they need?

For you the decision is not so grim. Its just a few grubs and grasshoppers. But if that is your only source of food, its either/ or (the pests or your belly).
If its just a hobby and your belly doesn't rely solely on the food you grow, then leave the pests to have their fill. You can always grow more plants next time.
Or when you've worked out a way to grow the plants but keep the pests off them, then its all good. :twothumbsup:
 

PestoMuncher

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Dang, who's pressuring you to get your pets put down? That's messed up!
I'm not even sure a good vet would euthanize an animal for no reason other than they're old and expensive to feed.
If you're struggling to pay for their feed you could always surrender them to a shelter like the SPCA.
 
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ClissAT

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People who don't understand can only relate to that which they have experienced.
So those who tell me to dispose of my horses don't understand our unique relationship.

My horses have been trained at liberty which means no gear or infrastructure such as halters, bridles, saddles, ropes, yards, pens, sheds. I bred them using my own mares and stallions. They've never been 'contained' so giving them to someone else would mean they wouldn't understand what was expected of them. I practice purely liberty techniques. I rode bareback and with no bridle although I'm not able to ride anymore. They've also been taught circus tricks which they enjoy for fun and relaxation, no whips or ropes involved. They understand when I point and say certain words. We'll be right now there's been rain here.
Anyway this thread is not the place to continue this conversation.

I'm keen to know whether your basil is flowering now there's been rain in many parts of eastern Australia.
Can you add a photo?
 

DTK

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No rain here yet ClissAT. Dry as a bone. Grass is now giving way to bare spots. Probably second to worst I have seen it