I love Basil.
I’m sure such a pronouncement has you absolutely riveted. But I mean, I REALLY love Basil. And for about 10 months of the year, I pay an exorbitant amount of money for about 3 sprigs of “organic” crammed in a particularly cringe-worthy amount of plastic.
But I need my basil.
“Grow your own on your windowsill!” I’m told as I lament my habit.
Grow your own. HA! You simpleton’s think I havent tried? and EVERY SINGLE initially thriving plant I have brought into this house has died.
Every. Single. One.
I’m not kidding. And I don’t think I’m THAT bad at nurturing.
I have the internet. I research care standards such as moisture, nutrition and light needs of each and every creature that crosses the threshold. (My children, for instance, need more sleep.. but thats’ another story)
I even went so far as to buy one of those Hydro grow planter kits. You know the kind? With the big light over a bubbling water reserve that if placed in a front window of your home, it might make your neighbors think you’ve got a grow house going?
(I swear. ITS JUST BASIL, PEOPLE) Or at least it was supposed to be.
But nope. Never even sprouted.
Forget the images on the box of huge splenderous yields of herbs grown effortlessly in your home.. I got NOTHING. Not even a feeble little hint of life.
What the heck? What was I doing wrong? I potted with the appropriate soil, I placed in the appropriate light, and I watered to the appropriate soil moisture indications…
I watered the plants with tap water. My tap water. The same water every other living creature consumed in this house for some time….. and all of my plants were DEAD..
HOW’S THAT FOR DRAMA!?
Hand to goodness truth though. Through research I discovered that Chlorine Toxicity is a thing.
Here’s a link to a study out of the Univ of Maryland
The internet is also awash with kids published science fair projects concluding the different effects and growth rates of various types of water. (tap, bottled, distilled, filtered)
And guess what? Filtered and distilled have BY FAR the best crop yield and growth rates.
I actually got a REVERSE OSMOSIS point of use filter at my house recently from Capital Well Clean Water Center, and I’ve already seen a marked difference in how long it takes me to kill a plant. (seriously, some are actually doing ok! I’m just cautiously pessimistic on their eventual demise because of my track record.) My basil is all I really care about anyway.. and it is THRIVING.