Basil, known by the Botanical name Ocimum Basilicum, is one of the most popular herbs and the easiest to grow in a kitchen garden. Growing basil is also fun since there are so many varieties of basil to choose from. You name a flavor, there is a variety of basil with it. Lemon Basil, Cinnamon Basil, Clove Basil.. See what I am saying? Growing Basil in a container or in the ground outdoor is very easy if you learn these tips on how to grow basil.
Tips for Growing Basil – Basil Growing Conditions
Though Growing basil is very easy, it is important to remember few basic things that are important for growing any plant.
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Whether you are growing basil plants outdoors or growing basil in a container, the drainage has to be proper. There should not be stagnant water. If you are planting basil in a container, pay attention to drainge. There should be drainage holes in the bottom.
Another important thing for basil plant care is to locate a spot that receives good bright sunlight. If you are growing them in a container, place them in a balcony that receives 3-4 hours of direct sunlight.
Growing Basil plants from seeds or cuttings
Basil can be grown using seeds and also from cuttings. If you decided on growing basil seeds, the procedure is very simple. Simply sprinkle or scatter the seeds on surface of the soil or potting soil and lightly cover them with soil or mix. Water them well.
If you decided on growing basil from cuttings, you’re job is much easier. Simply take a cutting from a healthy plant and make a nice cut beneath a node, leaving a 2-3 inches of stem. Stick the cutting into a moist potting mix and cover them up with a polythene sheet. In a week, rooted cuttings are ready.
While growing basil in soil or outdoors, remember that basil plant is cold sensitive and very low temperatures can kill the plant. Wait till the last frost has passed. If you are in the tropics, as I am, just don’t worry. Any day is a good day!
Important Tip on Growing Basil
This is the most important tip/trick on how to grow basil. I wish someone told me this when I grew it the first time. Harvest often! The secret on how to grow basil successfully is to keep harvesting often. More you harvest, more the basil plant will grow. Just pinch off the stem right above the node. Basil plants get bushy as you harvest and tends to produce more leaves.
Don’t let it flower:
Another tip worth remembering when growing basil is to never let it flower. Basil plants, after flowering, lose their flavor and also the vigor of the plant comes down. To keep the basil plant producing more and more basil leaf is to not let it flower.
Feeding the basil plants:
Feed the basil plants with general purpose fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 19-19-19. If you are growing basil organically, add good dose of organic compost when planting and after pruning/harvesting. Adding Epsom salts for herbs will bring out a lush green crop. Remember this when growing basil. Do NOT over-fertilize the plants. Basil plants might grow well but the flavor will be compromised.
These tips on basil plant care will help you harvest the good quality basil leaves from your garden. Learn how to grow Basil,the king of herbs and you will never to buy basil from the market again.