[Market-farming] Basil in row spacing

Richard Stewart rstewart at zoomtown.com
Wed Dec 26 10:53:22 EST 2012

We grow in rows, but allow them to mature and bush up.  Easier to manage and put on drip.  Last year we planted about 288 plants.  Our method to control bloom is to increase the amount of harvest.  We sell to chefs at between 16.00 and 14.00 a pound most get multi-pound quantities.  My experience is that until the days start getting much shorter or you are not irrigating regularly you should have about 3 months of excellent growth that should produce enough stems.  PLant twice as much as you need and rotate.  Every once and while we might need to do some bloom control, but as we get to the end of the season we start drying and milling it.

We do four rows to a bed staggered.  By mid-july it should look like a hedge even if you are harvesting a lot.

I think ANY type of herb that flowers in mid summer needs to have multiple avenue of sales.  You need a market, wholesale, chef (different to me than wholesale), and then drying it (and milling it) for local sales, or value added items like herb oil dips (basil is a major component in most).

Just something to think about.  Our Basil can often times look like our kale.  Over harvested and on the edge of exhaustion and then its allowed to sit for two weeks.


On Dec 26, 2012, at 9:40 AM, Andy Fellenz wrote:

> Hi,
> For the last 10 years I've grown Basil bush style and harvested stems through-out the season.  This results in a fair amount of time being spent pinching blossoms and also yields a fair amount of odd length stems and more harvesting and bunching labor than I like.  For next season I am thinking about doing multiple succession plantings and harvesting young whole plants.  My question is what will be the best in row spacing?  Can I plant at 2" and get a reasonable amount of leaves, or should I plant at either 4 or 6".  The goal is to harvest the plants when they get close to 12" high.  I'll be using my paperpot transplanter to set the plants and will most likely plant the basil in either 4 row beds with 12" between the rows or 5 row beds with 8-9" between the rows.  Ideally, I'd plant every other week and harvest each bed for 2 weeks.  The basil will be sold in bunches or be used as a bonus for the CSA shares.  
> Andy
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