Basil is an annual herb plant that can grow up to approx. 24” tall. It is grown primarily for culinary use, but is also known for soothing upset stomachs and helping digestion.
Often cooked with tomatoes, Genovese Basil is the most popular variety grown in home gardens. However, if you're considering growing basil, try other varieties too!
Growing basil is a good choice for a container gardening. Growing basil indoors can also be productive. Place the pot in a sunny location and keep the soil lightly moist.
Gardening Tips for How to Grow Basil: For bushier basil plants, pinch off the tips. This encourages new side shoots to grow.
When growing basil, pick a sunny spot in the garden.
Gardening Tips on How to Grow Basil: Growing basil and tomatoes together as companion plants makes them both healthier.
Light, sandy, well drained soil mixed with compost is best for growing basil. The soil pH should be 5.5 to 6.5.
How to grow basil from seed (outside): Growing basil requires warm air and ground temperatures. When the outside temperature is above 55 degrees (F) with no danger of frost, plant the seeds directly in the garden. Cover the seeds lightly with soil and keep moist.
Gardening Tips on How to Grow Basil: Water gently, or you'll wash away the basil seeds.
Thin the emerging basil seedlings to 10” apart (eat the cuttings).
For an earlier crop, start by growing basil seeds indoors. Plant the seeds in seed-starter, keeping the seedbed warm, moist (not soggy) and exposed to light.
Harden-off your basil seedlings before planting outside. When planting basil seedlings outside, space them 10" apart.
Keep the soil lightly moist.
Gardening Tips on How to Grow Basil: Mulch around the plants to help hold moisture.
Start harvesting when there are several sets of leaves per stem. Harvest as needed for fresh use, but pick the tips first. This encourages side shoots to grow. Also, pinching off the flowers as they appear will help extend the season.
Near the end of the season, try converting the healthiest basil plants to houseplants. Dig up the plant leaving room around the root ball. Plant it in a pot with a mix of compost and sandy potting mix, and water. Place in a sunny spot and keep the soil moist.
Basil doesn’t tolerate frost, so make your final harvest just before the first fall frost.
Gardening Tips On How to Grow Basil: The strongest flavor is just before the basil flowers.