With basil being the perfect addition to salads and cooking, this article will guide you through the steps of growing and caring for basil in your garden. From choosing a location and spacing, to how to water it and protect it from pests, these are all simple tips to help you grow your own perfect basil!
Basil is a perennial, which means it will last through the winter and grow back again the following year. It can be a little tricky to find a good spot in your garden, as most of us use family plots or even driveways to plant our veggies. For these reasons, Basil grows best in containers and other areas with more soil space. Not only does it help give you more room to work but they also need more care so that they’ll grow healthy and have longevity!
How To Start A New Basil Plant From Seed
You can easily start a new basil plant from seed if you’re planning on growing the herb indoors. Simply purchase some seeds from your local grocery store and make sure you buy more than one. I like to buy several in case of any ‘miscalculations’ with my seeds. Use scissors to snip the seeds and scatter them into a jar or plastic container. Cover the containers with a towel and place them into your fridge or somewhere cool until they germinate in a few days to a week. Simply let the seeds grow until they sprout, which shouldn’t take longer than two weeks, then transfer them into their own pots or containers. Basil can be planted inside any time of year but if you want it to start flowering right away – mid-spring is the best time for this!
Planting Your Basil Seeds
It’s really important that you plant your basil plants as deep as the soil allows, and it’s also important that you do not cover the soil with plastic as this will cause problems with your plant. I always plant mine in an area of open ground at least 6 inches away from any wall or fence so that they can get plenty of sun and space to grow, however many home gardeners simply use a small window box or a large pot. You can even use some old terracotta pots and window boxes but make sure you take the plants out of them before winter.
How to Care for Basil Plant
Watering – Basil is a drought tolerant plant. However, it will do best in well-drained soil with adequate water. A good rule of thumb is to water your basil every week during the growing season, but only if the soil feels dry. When watering, aim to wet the surface of the soil, not the leaves.
Fertilizing – One of the best ways to grow basil from seeds is to fertilize them with compost or manure. Once the basil plants are established, you can water them with compost or rainwater. You can also mulch the plants to keep them cool in summer and warm in winter.
Basil is a great herb to grow in the garden because it can be harvested multiple times throughout the year. In early spring, basil is in its flowering stage and can be picked fresh. In summer, basil is in its fruit stage and can be eaten fresh or dried. In fall, basil is in its harvest stage and can be used as a flavoring for foods or brewed as a tea. Basil can also be frozen for later use.