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Growing Basil

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    S P P              

(Best months for growing Basil in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 64°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 10 inches apart
  • Harvest in 10-12 weeks. Pick before flowering.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Tomato
  • A Basil plant
    A Basil plant
  • Basil flower
    Basil flower

A frost tender low-growing herb. Basil is a culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine, and also plays a major role in the Southeast Asian cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. The plant tastes somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent sweet smell. There are many varieties including, thai, purple ruffles and lemon.

Can be grown inside in pots in winter. As the plant develops, pinch out the top to encourage bushy growth. Pick off flowers to encourage more growth.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Basil

Basil is commonly used fresh in cooked recipes. It is generally added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavour. Tear rather than chop.
The fresh herb can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer, after being blanched quickly in boiling water.

Your comments and tips

23 Aug 17, M K Sharma (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
hi, i want to buy Basil plant.Its available in cape town, South Africa.
09 Jul 17, Jayne (USA - Zone 11a climate)
Hi, I'm in Zone 11a and need some clarification. For example regarding Basil, when you state 'P - Plant In The Garden' are you meaning plant seeds in seed trays in these months or to plant out young plants (that were seed sown in trays 4-6 wks earlier) in these months? Hope that question makes sense! Thanks. (P-Plant in garden means plant into the ground unless your local weather is not suitable - in which case, start basil in a seed tray and transfer later. - Liz)
17 Jun 17, irshad (Canada - Zone 7a Mild Temperate climate)
Hello How can growing basil plants in cold temperature
27 Apr 17, Monique (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Ok,, I live in zone 9A and I'm trying to grown basil. No matter where or how I try to grow it it dies. Looks like it's getting burnt when I plant it outside. How much should I water it or how often ???? HELP !
30 Jul 17, Paul (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Sounds like Downey Mildew. Undersides have grey black fuzz spores, the plant looks like has a nutritional problem. Suggest sanitation, regular application of organic teas and bio fungicides to populate the leaves with bacteria and fungi so the mildew can't get a start.... Varieties with flatter leaves vs. cupped tend to have an easier time.
28 Apr 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Basil is normally easy to grow. Normally you would plant it in your area from April to July.It doesn't like frost but, as it is a soft herb it doesn't like extreme heat and drying winds either. Try planting it where it gets morning sun and is protected from harsh conditions. A spot that gets light shade would also be good. Basil likes fertile, well drained soil and will reward you if the water supply is evenly damp but not wet. Sowing seed directly where it is going to grow is the best as direct-seeded plants will always do better than transplants. Trust this helps.
25 Apr 17, Monique (USA - Zone 5a climate)
I live in Florida around Daytona beach and can't grow basil to save my life. I've tried it in pots inside and outside. This year O planted it by my tomatoes and it still died. I'm I watering it to much too much sunny it said full sun but it looks like it's getting brunt... HELP !!
30 Apr 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Basil is normally easy to grow. it likes moist, fertile soil and, while it won't tolerate frosts, it will burn with heat or drying winds. Select a spot that gets morning sun and protection later in the day then sow seed thinly in this spot. Sowing seed direct is more successful than using a seed bed or pot then transplanting as the plants aren't subject to root disturbance and transplanting shock.
12 Apr 17, jodie (Australia - temperate climate)
Can basil grow in autumn
13 Apr 17, Jack (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Basil is frost tender and is normally grown as an annual. If you had it in a frost free spot or inside it would carry over Winter. This would give you a supply of basil over winter. Basil is easy to grow from seed and you could sow seed in late Winter inside ready for Spring planting outside.
Showing 1 - 10 of 73 comments

Basil is frost tender and is normally grown as an annual. If you had it in a frost free spot or inside it would carry over Winter. This would give you a supply of basil over winter. Basil is easy to grow from seed and you could sow seed in late Winter inside ready for Spring planting outside.

- Jack

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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