Growing Thai Basil, Salba & Galanga
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Bob Wolf
Posted on: January 20, 2009

I live on Whidbey Island, North Puget Sound WA, USA. I am on 12 acres with lots of tall trees, but am clearing about 4 acres on the highest point for maximum light & sun when we can get it. I want to grow Thai basil, galanga and salba (to get my own seeds). Which do you think will grow here ok? Will I need a greenhouse/hoop? My soil is all sandy/loamy - ca.150’ deep.

You should have no problem growing any of the three as long as you treat them as annuals, because they are all tropicals. Your season is longer than ours, but even in our short summers, basils set seed. Make sure to take into account that most basil species are killed by temperatures close to freezing that is they don’t wait for frost to die!

Salba, a Spanish sage is a perennial and may need a longer season to set seed and I would suggest greenhouse treatment for the winter. Galanga, a ginger would probably need the same treatment. I have two tropical gingers in my greenhouse and one flowers regularly, but never sets seed. I do not know if gingers need a different clone for cross-fertilization. Richters do not as yet carry either of these plants and so I have not done research on their culture.

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