Basil is one of the most popular herbs to grow as it can be easily started, harvested, and enjoyed! Popular in many Italian based dishes and recipes, basil adds a savory flavor to your dishes that can’t be beat. Perfect for gardens or even indoor pots, basil can be a power producer giving you lots of leaves from just a little plant. If you are curious about growing your own basil, here are some helpful how to grow your own basil tips to get you started.
How to Grow Basil
How to plant basil seedlings:
Like many herbs, basil is best when planted from seedlings instead of seeds. You can find basil seedlings at most gardening centers for just a few dollars each, making them a great value that really gives you bang for your buck.
When considering where to plant your basil, choose a spot that gets a good 6 hours of sun if not more. Basil likes warm, well drained soil that is nutrient rich. A little mulch around the base of the plant can help keep soil moist and protect roots, which is sure to help the basil thrive. Plant your seedlings 10-12 inches apart as basil likes to get bushy and really stretch out.
How to plant basil in pots:
Basil couldn’t be anymore perfect for planting in pots. Use the same soil and light guidelines above when planting your seedlings. Try to put one plant per 12 inch pot as you will find that the seedling can use all of the space. Be sure to keep your potted basil in a warm spot where it gets plenty of sun. If you need to, move the pot around as the sun shifts in order for it to get a solid 6 hours of warmth.
How to care for basil seedlings:
Basil plants are quite hardy, and you will find they need little care. No fertilizer is needed as long as you harvest from your basil plant often. An inch of water will do per week, and some mulch around the base will help the plant retain moisture. One of the biggest mistakes people make with basil is letting it get dry, which quickly stuns the plant.
You might see that slugs or aphids like to feast on your plant If this happens, pick them off by hand when you see them and use a food safe repellent to keep them at bay.
How to harvest basil:
Basil leaves are ready to harvest as soon as they are about teaspoon size. You can pick the leaves off one by one for harvesting or remove a whole stem at a time. When removing a stem just cut about one inch from the base. Harvesting often will keep the plant producing and really help it become hardy.
Once harvested you can dry or freeze your basil or use it fresh. Fresh basil leaves are often used in salad such as Caprese Salad or homemade pizzas, while dried basil might be ideal for dips and dressings. Use basil in your pasta dishes, or even enjoy it on tomato or chicken salads.
Basil is an excellent herb to have on hand, so why not consider giving it a try? Give these tips your attention and see what sort of basil harvest you can achieve.