Basil is a staple herb in any kitchen. Its fresh aroma enhances your cooking nicely. Think Italian. Those delicious tomato sauces, that punchy pesto, even sprinkled on a salad your dishes will be begging for some fresh basil. What’s even better is if you’ve grown the basil yourself. Imagine telling all your dinner guests you’ve been growing basil and have used your own herbs in their evening meal. You may be mistaken for a professional chef!
Ok, ok. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, you have to learn how to grow basil at home before wowing your friends and family.
Growing basil indoors is a bit like riding a bicycle. Scary at first but once you’ve got the hang of it you won’t ever want to stop!
There are many different guides to growing herbs in pots for beginners out there. This simple guide will focus on growing basil in pots indoors and a short section for those of you wishing to know about growing basil outdoors.
How to Grow Basil?
If you’re growing basil from seeds, here is a step-by-step guide to ensure you’re growing basil in the best way. The best part about growing basil indoors is that you can enjoy these herbs year-round.
Step 1. Pots & Soil
Find a container approximately 4-6 inches. When choosing your pot it is imperative it has drainage holes, as basil requires plenty of free flow when it comes to watering. Basil can be grown in a collection of pots side by side so each seedling has plenty of room to grow.
Fill each pot to the ¾ mark with nutrient-rich potting mix and water slightly so the soil is moist before planting the seeds.
Make sure you keep some of the potting mixes to one side as you will need to cover your seeds once planted.
Growing basil indoors will definitely require the use of fertilizer- if you’re planning to eat your basil, make sure you use organic fertilizer.
Step 2. How to Plant Basil
Now comes the time to learn how to plant basil.
You should already have your ¾ filled, well-draining containers ready. Sprinkle a few seeds on top of the soil and gently press each seed to submerge slightly. Add some of the spare potting mixes on top of your seeds to fill each container. Pack down firmly so the soil mix is not loose. As before, water your mix sparingly and find a suitable place to grow your basil. The perfect location for your newly planted basil is somewhere with lots of access to sunlight.
We suggest using fixing a freezer bag over the top, secured with a rubber band for the initial germination stage. You can remove this once leaves have started to form.
Step 3. Water
It is very important to understand how often to water basil. Basil grown both indoors and outdoors is very temperamental when it comes to water tolerance. The soil should always be damp so your herbs don’t dry out however should never look or collect too much water, as this could cause the roots to rot. It is best to set up a regular watering schedule. Watering your basil each morning is the ideal time as it will then have ample access to sunlight throughout the day and will ensure the water is absorbed effectively.
Step 4. Sunlight
Many of you may be wondering ‘does basil need full sun to survive?’ Well in this step we will cover all the basic basil sun requirements to ensure you have adequate knowledge to help your basil flourish.
The best place for your basil is by a window that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. If you don’t have access to plenty of natural light, you can use a growing light instead. This should be used for approximately 10 hours throughout the day.
Using a compact fluorescent bulb will provide your basil with enough light to grow year-round.
Step 5. Basil Plant Care
The most crucial part of growing basil is to correctly provide the best basil plant care indoors. If forgotten about or neglected basil is not so forgiving and won’t give you those fragrant leaves we’ve come to love.
Make sure you follow this guide on the proper water and sunlight needs of your basil plant.
The soil should maintain consistent moisture and your basil should receive plenty of sunlight.
With this 5 step guide to growing basil indoors you are destined to have the most delicious basil plant going. But for those of you wishing to know how to grow basil outdoors, we’ve put the basics below.
Growing Basil Outdoors
Often people would rather grow plants and herbs outside. If you’ve decided on growing basil outdoors then the proper location is key! There has to be excellent drainage and lots of sunshine so don’t crowd your basil with other plants and flowers. If you’re growing basil outdoors it’s very important you pay attention to the time of year. We suggest planting your basil in the Spring once the cold weather has passed. That way your basil plant should be in an environment that will help it thrive.
Now you have this simple guide on how to grow basil and the proper way to care for your basil both indoors and outdoors. If you remember the key pointers, you’ll have your herb garden sprouting in no time!
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