Today, I decided to remove the plastic wrap and pull the weeds that have been growing very well. I also pulled out some of the basil seedlings, to reduce their number to what I think the pot can support. One weed that I removed was a morning glory, the large plant that you can see at the bottom of the first photo. It was pushing against the plastic wrap.
After weeding and thinning, I watered the basil seedlings using some water-soluble fertilizer. Usually, I use a type of fertilizer that is higher in phosphorous than it is in nitrogen, as phosphorous promotes root growth and flowering.
However, I certainly don’t want my basil to flower (basil, like many herbs, becomes bitter if it matures enough to flower), so I decided to use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. I used 1/4 teaspoon in a quart (almost a liter) of water.
In fact, after reading what the American Rose Society has to say about phosphorous, I wonder if I have been applying too much. Rather ironic considering what it says on the first label. I use the water-soluble fertilizers to make sure that the young seedlings have the nutrients they need when their root systems are still small. It’s not a substitute for healthy soil with a balanced supply of available nutrients.