Italian Large Leaf basil is a great variety, makes a really nice pesto. Plant grows quickly. Plants will be grown in a 5-gallon bucket.
Oct 12, 2015 = Day 0. Plants started from seed (Botanical Interests). Moistened with dilute fertilizer: Dyna-Gro Liquid GROW 7-9-5, diluted 1 mL (1/5 tsp) per gallon of tap water. N-P-K (in ppm): 18-10-11. pH = 7.0.
Oct 14, 2015 = Day 2. Seeds germinated. Transferred to grow room, receiving 3 hours sunlight + 5 hours LED grow-light per day.
Oct 23, 2015 = Day 11. Plants installed in 5-gallon bucket. Hydroponic solution composed of 5 gal tap water, 10 g MasterBlend 4-18-38, 10 g calcium nitrate, 5 g magnesium sulfate, 1 mL Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt, 4 mL pH Down. N-P-K (in ppm): 103-41-168. pH = 6.5.
Dec 5, 2015 = Day 54. I did a 50% harvest, since plants were getting tall and falling over. Pruning the plants back results in more branching, resulting in a bushier plant.
Plants were getting to be around 12-inches tall, so I installed a 42-inch wire tomato cage around the bucket to keep the plants upright:
Jan 30, 2016 = Day 110. Bucket was starting to feel light (indicating low fluid level), so I added 1 gallon of fresh hydroponic solution.
Feb 10, 2016 = Day 121. Added 0.5 gallons of fresh hydroponic fluid. Continuing to harvest leaves every week or 2.
Feb 26 = Day 137. Harvested all remaining leaves for making a big batch of pesto.
These basil plants did very well for me, producing lots of high quality leaves for many months. These plants are done, but I still have lots of Genovese basil currently growing, and I recently started new Italian Large Leaf plants from seed, so I will always have fresh basil on hand.