Just a week or so after the first photo was taken, it was in bloom. Around this stage the leaves lose their soft lusciousness and, as a herb, it's not a patch on its youthful self. And so last year I started up a second crop, then towards the end of summer, a third one. And the crops became fairly small, too, as I don't really need lots of basil at any one time. But I do like the idea of having fresh, tender young basil on hand at all times.
Overcrowded basil certainly looks nice, but while I had plenty of leaves to harvest for cooking I could just tell that the plants weren't happy. Some plants thrived but others died off amid all the competition.
This year I have raised seedlings in punnets and planted them out in pots, with about six seedlings planted into this pot. This is the first batch of this 'summer' and you can tell by the flower buds that it's already on the way out (last weekend's searing-hot heat didn't help, either). So, about three weeks ago I sowed the next batch of seed in punnets and got them going.
This morning I planted the new babies out into their pot in a spot on the path edge which gets maximum sunshine. This pot will need almost daily watering, but that's the only problem with doing things this way. All my other sunniest spots are taken up with tomatoes, zucchinis, zinnias and salvias, so it's a pot on the path or nothing! It will get light liquid feeds of one of those nitrogen-rich organic liquid foods (eg, Nitrosol or Seafeed 3-in-1) every fortnight.