This article is a summary of how to grow Basil in order to get the highest yields from your Basil plants.Anyone growing their own food is likely to have at least one area dedicated to growing herbs, and within that herb growing area, Basil, one of the most popular home grown herbs, is likely be an element.
You will find that growing Basil is a pretty straight forward process, but a little attention to some minor details will mean the difference between an OK plant and a fantastic plant.
This page is only a brief summary of the golden rules for growing a really good, abundant Basil crop. I have also written a more comprehensive article which discusses growing Basil in much greater detail. That article can be found here.
How to grow basil bigger and better than you've ever grown it before...
1. Be aware of the temperature requirements of Basil. Never let the temperature fall below 10 degrees C. and understand that even a slight frost will either kill it, or disable it.
2. Make sure it has 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.
3. Basil is perennial, so plant it in a pot that can be brought indoors through the winter months. Keep it in the light and you will have fresh herb all year round.
4. Use a good quality soil/compost (don't go for the cheapest compost) and dampen it before adding seeds.
5. Do not sow the seeds too deeply. Just a few millimetres will be sufficient. Any more and the seedlings will not have sufficient energy to push through.
6. Ensure the soil remains moist throughout the entire germination period which is less than 2 weeks.
7. Transplant the young plants only after they have grown 5-6 leaves.
8. Pruning (Important!) Prune once you have three or four sets of leaves. Pinch off the top of the plant just above a set of leaves. The leaves will now become branches. Repeat once the branches have grown their own set of 3-4 sets of leaves, and repeat again several more times if you want. This will give you a vibrant bushy plant, as opposed to a spindly thin one.
9. Do not allow flower heads to develop. Pinch them out - see video below)
10. Feed the Basil plants with organic fertiliser throughout the growing season and spray it on the actual leaves - both tops and beneath.
11. Harvest by cutting off the leaves as you need them. do not cut the stems, only the leaves, unless pruning back.
As I said at the start of this page, this is more like as summary of the key-points on how to grow Basil successfully. For a further and more comprehensive look at growing Basil successfully, i have written a fuller page which can be seen by clicking the following link: Click here to see my main article on growing basil.
Otherwise, enjoy the video below which touches on the benefits and techniques of pruning basil...