How to Grow Basil
Make sure that the soil is moist . Basil plants like moisture. After the seedlings have produced their first six leaves, prune to above the second set. This encourages the plants to start branching, resulting in more leaves for harvest. Every time a branch has six to eight leaves, repeat pruning the branches back to their first set of leaves. After about 6 weeks, pinch off the center shoot to prevent early flowering . If flowers do grow, just cut them off. If the weather is going to be cold or if a sudden frost is imminent, be sure to harvest your basil beforehand, as the cold temperatures will destroy your plants.
If you choose growing basil seeds, scatter the seeds over the location that you have chosen and lightly cover with dirt., and water thoroughly. Thin to 6 inches (15 cm.) apart once the seedling come up. If you choose growing basil plants, dig a small hole, tease out the root ball some, and plant the basil plant in the ground.
To feed in-ground basil using a dry fertilizer , sprinkle the fertilizer lightly on the soil around the plants, then scratch the granules into the soil with a spade or garden fork. Be careful not to get the dry fertilizer on the leaves; if you do, rinse it immediately to prevent burning. Water the plant deeply.
Basil plants grow up to 4 to 6 inches tall , so try to pinch off the topmost branches to encourage more side shoots and a taller plant. Pinch off blooms to prevent your plant from going to seed. Encourage leaf production by keeping basil fed with water-soluble plant food .
How do you get Basil to reseed?
Eventually, flowering takes over as plants reach maturity, and they stop growing new leaves. If you want the plants to reseed, allow the flowers to remain intact so they can drop seeds . To ensure that you have plenty of fresh basil, sow plants every two weeks throughout the growing season.
Yet another inquiry we ran across in our research was “Will basil reseed itself?”.
One source claimed that basil plants can reseed themselves and grow back next year if the conditions are right. However, the seeds can only withstand mild frost for short periods of time, so basil plants will not reseed themselves and grow back in most parts of the world since it gets too cold in the winter.
You see, if the seeds are kept moist and aren’t killed by cold winters, new basil plants can appear the next year . However, basil does tend to cross-pollinate, so if you’re growing more than one variety, you may end up with hybrid varieties that aren’t true to the mother plant. Basil plants need an area with full sun and well-drained soil.
What should I Feed my Basil plant?
Basil plant feeding requires a light touch ; too much fertilizer may create a big, beautiful plant, but the quality will be badly compromised, as fertilizer decreases the all-important oils that give this herb its distinctive flavor and aroma.
Does basil need fertilizer?
The best fertilizer for basil is any good quality, balanced fertilizer. If you’re wondering when to feed basil growing in containers, the answer is once every four to six weeks for indoor plants and every two to three weeks for basil in outdoor pots. Instead of a dry fertilizer, use a water-soluble fertilizer mixed at half strength.
Is nitrogen good for basil plants?
It is true and widely accepted that nitrogen allows plants, of any type, to grow larger and greener leaves (fruits) and look, in the overall, healthier. This is definitely true for your basil as well as reported by several studies where a higher concentration of nitrogen was associated with improved taste and fragrance.
How to care for basil plant care?
Here is what our research found. Continue fertilizing every two weeks with an all-purpose, soluble fertilizer, recommends Utah State University. Water regularly but, again, take care to avoid overwatering. Prune your basil plants throughout the summer to facilitate new growth .
You should be wondering “Do basil plants need full sun to grow?”
Our answer is that don’t rush basil. Without heat, the plant won’t grow well . Basil will grow best in a location that gets 6 to 8 hours of full sun daily, though it can perform well in partial sun, too. Soil should be moist but well-drained. Basil works great in containers or raised beds, as these allow for better drainage.
Because of the seeds’ need for warm soil , they self-sow only in areas where there is little or no frost during the winter months. If the seeds are kept moist and aren’t killed by cold winters, new basil plants can appear the next year.