For a few weeks now I’ve been running a little soil experiment. Comparing worm compost, store bought soil, and backyard soil and how basil seeds grow in them. It took quite a while for anything to grow at all actually. When I finally did see a little green it wasn’t much.
At one point I had at least one basil seedling in each of the three pots. The store bought soil had two growing. At this point though I’m down to just one seedling and it’s in the store bought soil.
I’m really not sure what the deal is for sure. The results for all three soils has been very underwhelming. I’ve got to figure out what the deal is to have this soil test work at all though. I mean I would guess that the soil that the seeds are growing in would have an effect on the plant growth. But I planted four basil seeds in four holes in each pot. That is 16 seeds per pot or a total of 48 seeds planted and a total of 4 seedling that made it above ground, or 8%. That is much lower then it should be. Like I say I am expecting differences in growth from soil to soil, but there is no real reason that that many seeds should fail.
I have planted vegetables plants in my back yard the last few summers. I’ve gotten plenty of beans, tomatoes, peppers, and more. So for there to be only one seed that grew and then died in the backyard soil is crazy.
The long and short is I feel like it has to be something that I did wrong. My best guess is that I was over watering. The pots that I’m using for this test were on sale at the local drug store one day. They are not however the type of pot that has drain holes in the bottom. I know at least once when I was watering the pots, they kind of flooded for a while. I wouldn’t have thought it was that big of a deal, but possibly it was and ruined the experiment.
So for the moment I’ll let the one basil seed go. It seems to be healthy, even if it is growing VERY slowly. When I have time, hopefully this weekend, I think I’m going to try to drill a hole or holes in the bottom of the backyard soil pot. I’m not sure if that’ll work of if the whole pot will crack, but nothing is successfully growing in there now anyway, so might as well give it a try. If that works I’ll try it on the worm compost pot, for the same reason. If I can drill both those with out cracking them, I’ll probably move the basil seed from the store bought soil to another pot and drill it too. If the drilling doesn’t work out then I’ll just need to buy three new pots with drain holes in them.
Either way it goes I basically need to restart the test with new pots that will keep me from over watering. Hopefully that’ll be the answer and a much larger percentage of the basil seeds will germinate. If not then I’m going to question if the seeds are any good, or if some other factor is slowing them down.