Worthwhile to Grow Your Own Basil?

As you head off to the garden store, grocery store, or putter around your garden or window box this weekend, Green Blizzard wants to plant this spice in your mind!  Another way to carve a small notch notch off your carbon footprint..


Without it tomato and mozzarella fall flat and lose all their personality. Fish, pasta salads, and sauces are naked without it. Pesto wouldn’t exist. Basil is one of the most highly used herbs we have, so wouldn’t it be great to just reach into your backyard for a fresh handful whenever you wanted? At the grocery store packaged, commercial basil sells for $3. In most cases the amount of basil you get for that prices is enough for two maybe three meals. With how easy it is to grow there’s really no excuse for not planting it in your backyard or even kitchen. Not only will you have fresh produce for dinner, but it will save you money and help the environment.

At many grocery stores, prepackaged basil costs the exact same as the life basil plants. So for that same $3 you can have a plant that will continuously produce basil for you all summer, saving you money, reducing your carbon footprint, and enhancing the quality of your homemade meals.

If you are really ambitious you can grow it from seed. For a couple of dollars you can get enough seeds to start 50 or more basil plants. At a germination rate of over 80%, you are sure to have more than enough basil plants.

All basil needs is good sunlight, and it doesn’t need heavy watering as well, so you are looking at less than a dollar of water needed per month to help them grow.

PLUS, if your plant is not growing rapidly enough for your needs, or it starting to bolt, you can cut off a 3-6 inch top and stick it into some water and it will generate roots in a few days and you can transplant these clipping and expand your basil plot.

You can even use your homemade compost to help it grow more quickly at zero cost. Even if you use basil only once a month, growing it is worth the meager investment. So rather than buying prepackaged basil that has been shipped hundreds of even thousands of miles to your local grocery store, buy the plant for the same price or grow your own from seed to help reduce your carbon footprint and save you money.

An average person can save at least $25 a summer with almost no effort if they use basil sparingly and the savings keep adding up if you use it a lot in your cooking like I do! At the very least you’re garden will smell delicious and your food will taste better with minimal effort watering. Next time you make a cream sauce or salad, put some of your homegrown basil in to add another level of flavor and luxury to your dish and impress your family or friends.

Green Blizzard gives this green opportunity a two green footprints rating for its oveall environmental impact, but you’ll get plenty of tasteful and convenient rewards for growing it.

Sustainable Living writer John GarnettOther related Green Blizzard articles on home energy efficiency: Energy Efficient Windows,  Water Conservation Around The House, and Gift Ideas For A Green Handyman.


About the author

John R. Garnet

John's work in the energy market fostered his interest in the environment. He recently completed his graduate work at George Mason University, But more interestingly, John has a passion for food and cooking and to provides some light-hearted tips to make people's lives greener while enjoy the good life with everyday practical tips from brewing tea, growing basil, or drinking raw milk.