Basil is one of the easiest and most delicious herbs to grow, but even so, there are tips that can make your basil plant even MORE flavorful and bigger too. Basil is an amazing herb to have at your fingertips because it can spice up any dish from soups, salads, stews, and everything in between. If you love growing basil, you're going to love these 7 tips for growing basil. Follow our simply gardening guide below to grow the biggest, most flavorful basil you've ever had!
Basil is a warm weather herb, and that means you should only plant it once the weather warms up! Additionally, you can also grow basil indoors on a windowsill or using grow lights. When planting basil outdoors, be sure to wait until all danger of frost has passed, the soil is warm, and your basil harvest will be plentiful! To keep the plant going and producing, keep harvesting the basil leaves on a regular basis. Learn more about how to prune basil to encourage abundant leaf production.
There are several different basil varieties that you can grow, and some of the most popular ones are sweet basil, purple basil, lemon basil, and Thai basil. Sweet basil, as you can already guess, it sweeter than most varieties. Purple basil is less sweet than common basil, and lemon basil has a nice lemony taste. Thai basil is a great variety to grow because it has a licorice flavor, which makes dishes really come to live. Whichever variety of basil you choose to grow though, the rules all pretty much all the same!
7 Tips for Growing Basil in Pots or in Your Garden
#1. Plant With Seeds or a Starter Kit
The best way to grow your basil is to direct sow seeds (as long as the weather has warmed up) or to purchase a seed starting kit. You can purchase seeds online or at your local nursery. Seed starting kits are also available at your local nursery. Additionally, you can also purchase small basil plants and just transplant them outdoors. If growing from seed, start seeds indoors about 6 weeks before the last frost.
#2. Choose Well Drained Soil
Basil will thrive as long as you provide it with the right soil! Choose well drained soil, especially if you're growing in pots or containers. If growing outdoors, make sure that the soil is nice and warm. The soil should be at least 50F (10C), but preferably around 70F (21C). At night, the temperatures should not drop below 50F (10C). If you live in a warmer climate, use mulch around the plants to keep moisture in and weeds away.
#3. Keep it Warm and Sunny
Basil likes it warm and sunny! If you want a big basil harvest, it's important to keep it in warm temperatures and give it at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun per day. This means you have to find an area in your garden or balcony that will receive lots of sun. If you see the plant growing slowly, that means it's not receiving enough sunlight.
#4. Fertilize Once a Month
If you're growing basil indoors, it's important to fertilize once a month. Use organic or slow release fertilizers for best results.
#5. Water Often in Hot Weather
Constantly check the soil to make sure it's damp. In the summer, water once a day, and in cooler weather, water every other day.
#6. Prune, Prune, Prune!
Basil will grow bigger and faster if you prune it! Once your basil plant reaches at least 6 inches tall, start pruning from the top and remove any flowers as soon as you see them. Learn more about how to prune basil to encourage abundant leaf production.
#7. Keep Bugs Away
If you have a bug problem, fertilize with a liquid seaweed fertilizer which is meant to keep bugs and critters away. Basil is susceptible to aphids, powdery mildew, and also a variety of bacterial and fungal leaf, root, and stem diseases.