Basil or great basil is a culinary herb that belongs to the Lamiaceae family and regarded as the ‘king of herbs’ because of it superb functionality. This royal herb is actually easy-to-grow crop that could be cultivated in a normal garden circumstance and requires a low maintenance than any other herbs. You can effortlessly grow this herb in your own backyard as well as in some sunny indoor areas. Thus, numerous gardeners and basil lovers feel affectionate towards this herb and willingly cultivate it on their own capability. Let’s check out the precise cultivating methods of basil, before growing this herb in your own garden area-
- Basil need well-drained soil like the foremost herbs and vegetable, so avoid clay base type soil and choose a little sandy type soil for this crop.
- The pH level must keep in between 6 to 7 to get a handful of a healthy
- Basil plant needs rich and moist soil to maintain a healthy growth, thus, add a little organic fertilizer and water regularly after planting.
- Compost, blood meal, cottonseed meal, etc. are a few good organic nutrients, which you could add to your soil for proper nourishment to your plants.
- The soil should have a temperature of 70 ̊̊F for all the time to keep the growth continuous.
- Basil plants need hot climate to grow up perfectly, so, try to sow your basil seeds five to six weeks before the last winter.
- Make sure that the seeds and germinated plants could get at least 6 to 8 hours of full sunlight, but make sure that they could get protection from the scorching midday sun, during the summer season!
- Try to keep the atmosphere fairly warm for the utmost times and an average temperature of 50 ̊F throughout the whole growing season.
- To make the circumstance absolutely perfect for most of the times, make sure that your basil plants could get plenty of sunlight, especially all through the initial stage.
DIY Garden Video: How to Grow Basil
3. Basil Planting
- To start the planting, you need to decide first that what type of basil you want to cultivate, as there are several varieties of this herb and growing sessions sometimes varies by its category!
- However, after deciding the species, buy some fresh seeds from the market and be ready to plant them at the indoor process for the first four weeks.
- For that, take a seeds pot and fill it with fertilized soil. You can mix up perlite, peat moss, and vermiculite equally into the soil to make the nutrient level perfect.
- Now, press the soil lightly to remove any air pockets inside the soil and plant the seeds in each section of the pot.
- Then, cover them up with more compost-soil mixture and water them thoroughly.
- Now, cover the pot with a plastic kitchen wrap and place the seeds pot in a full sunny window for the next few days.
- Do not forget to remove the wrap gently and water your seeds twice on a daily That plastic wrap helps to hold both the moisture and sun-heat for a very long time.
- Once you see the germination of your basil seeds, remove the plastic wrap immediately and let the sunlight in straightly.
- After the sprouts reach the height of 5 to 6 inches and have two sets of leaves, then, transplant them to your garden area with a proper delicacy.
- To transplant tender basil plants, select a sunny warm area in your garden and then spread fertilized soil along with some organic compost there.
- After that, dig some holes of 2 to 3 inches deep in a row and 6 inches apart from each other.
- Now, plant your basil plants inside those holes and cover them with some more compost mix.
- Keep the soil moist by providing enough water over the soil, but make certain that your watering doesn’t dampen the root or stems of your plants!
- Water your plant once a daily and fertilize weekly to keep the nourishment continue.
- As soon as the plants get longer, prune the flower heads off the plants, this way you will keep the leaves fresh and tasty.
- Now all you need is just take proper care and wait for the perfect harvesting period of your super scrumptious basil leaves.
- For taking care of your basil plants, your need to validate the drainage system very well as the other herbs. Because, the foremost herb plants need moist soil, but they can’t stand against damp or wet climate for a long!
- So make sure that the soil could hold the moist of water but, it couldn’t hold back the dampness for a long while, or it will be harmful to the growth of your basil plants.
- Never put any shade or partial shade over the basil plants, if you want to get the best healthy side of this herb!
- Add a 5-7-3 blend of fish meal and alfalfa meal to the soil, during the early season of planting.
- Try to keep the temperature 50-60 ̊F throughout the whole growing season of the plants.
- Feed your plants every couple of weeks all through the growing session with bonnie, herb, vegetable and flower plant food, etc.
- Prune your plants after a curtained length to continue the growth of the stem as well as the leaves.
- Clear any weeds near your plant and if possible then, plant some helpful companion plants near the basil plants to keep them refresh, weed-free and pest-free.
- Try to take proper care of some disgusting pests, worms, wilts and disease to get the best of your crops.
Growing Basil Video Idea
5. Basil Plant Pest and Diseases:
Its aromatic green, fresh leaves easily lure pest and worms, while the inflexibility in dampness or wet circumstance drives this plants towards a fungus or bacterial future as well! Sporadically, basil plants are infected by the aphids, slugs, or Japanese beetles, flea beetle, and leafminers for the utmost times. Downy mildew, leaf spot, root rot, fusarium wilt, Cercospora leaf, etc. are some common fungus and bacteria which could damage, rot or prevent the growth of your basil plant at any stage!
To fight against these troubles, apply suitable remedies for each problem. Remember that remedy process varies with different types of pests, fungus or diseases. If your plant and basil leave suffering of ugly spots, unwanted holes, and curly edges, then cut them off the stem to protect the rest leaves. Use some organic beetle sprays to your every single plant before getting infected by them. Or you can cover the whole plating area with silver colored mulches or chicken wires. Some insects could clear by some water forces too; hence, spray water occasionally over the leaf with a sprayer.
If your planted basil herbs are suffering from fungus, then watch out the drainage system, and supply of sun rays immediately, as such crisis could occur for the damp and cold climate for the most of the times. Sometimes, some good and effective companion plants could help hugely to get rid of these troubles completely!
6. How to harvest Basil:
- Once the plants get mature, start harvesting them immediately to get the freshest part of it.
- To harvest basil leaves, pluck off the top two or three pairs of leaves after the stalk reaches a height of 10 to 12 inches.
- Never cut off the whole stem from the plant or you may kill the plant forever!
- Generally, you can pinch off up to a 1/3 height of a basil plant.
- If you follow all the instruction carefully then, you will get another opportunity to harvest again from the same plant within a few weeks!
- Finally, before the winter come, complete your harvesting by cut the main stem out of the ground and pinch off the all the leaves from it.
7. How to Store Fresh Basil:
- To store basil in the fresh and healthy form, wrap all the fresh leaves in air-circulated wrapping paper and keep it in the darkest ad coolest place in your room.
- Or you can store them in a dry condition as well, and for that, remove all the leaves from the stem first; then, wash and dry them up thoroughly. After that, place your basil leaves on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake it in your microwave oven for 2 to 4 hours at very low temperature. Finally, crumble them and store in an airtight container for a long period.
How to Freeze Basil:
- If you want to get the flavor of basil leaves for a long while then, you must store them in the freezing form. To freeze basil leaves, take off all the fresh leaves from the stem and then blench them to the warm water for only 2 to 3 seconds. Then, transfer the leaves to a bowl of ice-water and dry them up completely. Now all you need is just place them in a freezer-safe airtight container after separating the each layer with parchment paper.
- You can even freeze them in another process also and for that, wash and dry the fresh basil leaves after removing them from the stem. Now, use a blender or food processor to blend the leaves along with some fresh extra virgin olive oil. Finally, pour the puree into an ice mold tray in the form of cubes and store them in a re-sealable plastic bag.
Growing Basil Video: How to Basil From Seed
Growing Basil Indoor:
- To grow basil plant all along in the indoor circumstance, take a medium size garden pot or container first that must have a good drainage system at the bottom.
- Now, fill the container with well-drained and nutrition-rich soil till the top.
- If you want to plant several basil plants at once, then, arrange more than one planter with the aforementioned type soil.
- Now, dig a hole in the soil to a depth of 1-inch and put 3 or 4 seeds into the hole.
- Then, cover those seeds with some more fertilized soil and water through the whole planter to moist it up.
- Make sure that the pH level does not cross the measurement of 7.5 to get the best growth of the plants.
- Now, put your planter in a sunny window and let it take full sunlight for the utmost times of a day.
- If your window could not provide adequate sunlight to the plant, you can arrange some artificial lighting too, over the plant!
- Once you see the germination, validate more, and arrange the fresh or fully open circumstance for the plants.
- Water regularly and fertilize frequently will help your plant to reach the harvesting stage soon.
Growing Basil from Cuttings:
- To grow basil plants from the cuttings, take some fresh basil plants; prepare it for sowing by removing the lower leaves on the stem and sending-off two smallest parts at the top.
- Then, place the cutting in a bowl with filtered water and set the bowl on the windowsill.
- Keep changing the water regularly and cover the stem of the cutting occasionally to hold the heat for a long while.
- After a gap of one week, you will see the stem sprouting new roots from the bottom.
- After following the same process for the one more week, when the roots are longer and thicker, plant your cutting stem in the garden area or a giant size garden planter.
- When the stem would grow stronger and longer with times, you will get new cuttings from the each fresh stems.
- Once the top resembles bushier, harvest some leaves from the top, and you can get more fresh leaves from the same plant again!
- Remember that, as much as you prune or remove tender leaves from the stem, you will get more new leaves from the same plant.
- Just try not to harm the main stem for a single time, until you reach the end of the growing season!