Growing Basil from seed to harvest. Basil is an annual, or sometimes perennial, herb used for its leaves. Depending on the variety, plants can reach heights of between 30 and 150cm. There are many basil varieties with leaf colors ranging from green to purple, with smooth or crinkled leaves and with flavors such as lemon, cinnamon and licorice.
Growing Basil from Seed
- Direct sow the seeds or else sow indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost in spring
- Sow Basil Seeds evenly by covering them with 0.5 cm of soil.
- Keep the soil moist.
- The basil seeds should germinate within a week or two.
- Once the seedlings are ready to be transplanted into the garden or containers, leave a space of about 12 to 18 inches between the plants.
Maintaining Basil Plants
- Basil prefers full sun and warm temperatures, but benefits from light shade during the hottest time of day, especially if you live an an area with very hot summers.
- Water deeply at least once a week to keep roots growing deep and the soil moist.
- You do not need to add fertilizers to basil plants. Instead add a layer of mulch to help retain soil moisture.
- When the plant has two sets of true leaves, pinch off the topmost branches to promote more side shoots and a bushier growth form.
- Pinch off blooms to prevent your plant from going to seed, unless you want to save seed for next season.
- Harvest basil regularly throughout the growing season.
- Harvest at least 1/3 of the leaves each month to encourage new growth.
- The leaves can be frozen or else dried for later use.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.