Growing basil indoors

I am growing basil from seed for the first time and am growing in our conservatory. However, there are a number of pesky little flies that always seem to be on or around it. I have tried airing the room out and have left the basil overnight outside in a sheltered spot but they are still there and if it goes on for much longer I fear my mum will throw them out! My Dad had kept his chilli plants (didn't do very well unfortunately) in there earlier in the year and I remember flies then, so I don't know if it is directly related. Is there anything I can do? 

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  • Sometimes if the compost is a bit stale/wet/compacted, you tend to get the tiny flies living in the soil.  You could try repotting with fresh compost .....perhaps a layer of grit on top ? 

  • WateryWatery Posts: 388

    I;ve been having the same problem and tried repotting AND leaving it outside for weeks.  If anyone figures out a solution I'd be happy to know.  Didn't happen last year.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,040

    If it is fungus gnats (aka sciarid flies) as Philippa suggests then the easiest things to do are 1) water only from below never from above and 2) cover the surface of the compost with a good layer of grit (1-2cm deep) as these flies depend on the surface of the compost being damp to lay their eggs and for their larvae to live in:

    http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/projects/greenhouse/how-to-tackle-house-plant-flies/4149.html

     

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    I just wish I could grow basil at all!  My friends have given me so many plants over the years, besides the seeds I have tried to grow for myself, but basil takes one look at me and dies!  

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,040

    They hate being over watered Bookertoo, could that be a possibility?  I only water mine when they get so dry that the leaves are actually wilting. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Anything is possible Bob tG, but even when I buy well grown plants from anywhere and keep them in a good place, they just look around and die!  I think it is just a case of the basil curse - I tend to be mean with watering most things, but if they are very keen on dryness then maybe - I expect I shall kill a few more next year, and maybe one year I'll have a surprise and one will live and well get to eat it. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 27,004

    Better to try growing it yourself from seed Bookertoo. Sow some in a pot on the windowsilI in spring and then sow again a few weeks later to have a succession - like lettuce. I think the plants you buy are kept in such 'managed' conditions that it's hard to keep them going. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    I'm sure you are correct Fairygirl regarding those I have bought in, but the  ones my friends (who are good gardeners) have been done well, and theirs are fine!  I get them home and that is that, poor things. I've even tried the bush basil kind, but they don't go either - and even ones I have grown from seed do fine till they are big enough to realise where they are, then it's all over!!  Thank you for trying all of you, I'll give it another go in due time. 

  • Denno666Denno666 Posts: 107

    Thanks for the replies, I will see if some grit helps

  • Alan DAlan D Posts: 55

    Maybe you are Basil Fawlty. image

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