How to grow basil

How to grow basil

How to grow basil at home, most want the basil leaves for their dishes but the whole plant is edible. Basil is a cultivar, pollinator, companion plant, and medicinal herb. Native to Asia, Basil has been around for over 4000 years. Sometimes called the ‘king of herbs’. It’s part of the mint family, and is grown as a annual for summer harvest. Grown as a companion plant with tomatoes and peppers because the have the same growing conditions. It’s also said that flavor is improved for all plants when grown as a Companion. Basil also attracts bees and other good pollinators, and repels flies and mosquitoes. Whatever your reason for growing Basil it’s has many benefits and is easy to grow.


Plant and Go
Botanical: Ocium Basilicum
Depth: 1/4" Spacing: 10-12" Row: 12-18"  Temp: 50-70F
Germ: 5-10 days  Sun: Full/ 6-8 hrs pH: 6.0-7.5



Soil: well drained  Container: 9x12" Water: 1" per week Fertilizer: 5-10-5
Fert Freq: Every 4-6 wks  
Companion plant: Borage
Basil is a easy plant to grow. Sowing requirements will be based on what you wish to do with the plant once germinated, direct, transplant, indoors all have different Sowing time frames. Basil is a annual, so it’s life span is on average is 4-6 months, some live longer based on the variety you choose to grow.
Direct sow 1-2 weeks after last frost, basil is sensitive to frost. If you plan to transplant, then sow indoors 6 weeks before last frost. Seedlings should have 4-6 true leaves before moving outside. Growing indoors you can sow any time as long as you meet the temperature and light requirements. 
Sow seeds 1/4in deep in loose well drained soil. Basil likes temperatures between 50-70F. Start sowing in bunches 3-4 together, and space 3-4in apart. Rows 24-36 in apart, a single plant can have a 1 foot spread. 
Germination usually takes 5-10 days, and are ready as microgreens in 12-20 days. Thin seedlings to 3-4in apart to start, when seedlings have 2-3 true leaves. By the plants are mature you’ll want roughly 12-14in apart. Individual plants can grow 10-18in tall. To thin use scissors or shears and cut seedlings at the top of the soil. Fertilize every 4-6 weeks for indoor plants and 2-3 weeks for outdoor. Avoid watering or adding Fertilizer to the leaves. 5-10-5 is the recommended Fertilizer for basil. Water 1in a week and keep an eye on the leaves. Wilted leaves usually indicates that plants need more water, basil likes moist not flooded soil. Basil likes Full sun for 6-8 hours a day. And partial shade in very hot climates. Minimum container size for basil is 9x12 or ½ gallon for one plant. Once planted and thinned watch and wait until it’s time to harvest.
Harvest or prune regularly, it encourages the plant to grow. If your growing for microgreens the seedlings are usually ready around 12-20 days, and 1 set of true leaves. Basil takes 60-70 day to mature. You’ll know it’s ready to harvest when your plant is 6-8in tall and has at least 4 sets of true leaves. There are a few ways to harvest/prune your plant. First by individual leaves. Use scissors to cut just after the individual leaf on the stem. Next is cutting a whole section . Cut just above the leaf node. Or you could cut the whole plant at the stem. Try to avoid tearing leaves off. Pinch method works great for individual leaves and sections, but scissors are faster. If you plan on eating/cooking the basil your growing, don’t grow near sidewalks, or roads. Avoid using insecticides and use clean soil.
-Harvesting your plant regularly encourages fuller growth.
-prune side shoots and flower buds. Once a plant flowers, it stops producing leaves.
Fun Fact
The tallest basil plant is nurtured by Anastasia Grigoraki in Greece. The plant is 10 ft 9in tall. 
Basil is a great plant to have in the home or garden. It’s easy to grow, make a great and companion plant. If your not already growing basil, why not give it a try. Or pick up a plant at your local nursery or grocery store.
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