Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

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

Your comments and tips

26 Jan 17, Mary (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Please can you tell me if Basil will successfully freeze & still give off its aroma in cooking when use. Is there any special way of freezing it or just plain in a plastic bag? thanks
01 Feb 17, anna (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Works well for me, but the leaves sometimes get a brown colour from freezing, mainly when thawed and refrozen. I perfer to freeze only some fresh and a lot of it already as a pesto in an icecube tray. the cubes are great for portioning.
02 Jan 17, Patricia hay (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Can you grow basil in tunnel house. Any tips. Tried growing from seed with no success .
02 Feb 17, Karen (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I live North Shore Auckland. I've tried to grow allsorts of veg & herbs in pots from seeds outdoors with mixed success. The basil was one of my dismal failures. I now grow all my seeds indoors until the weather is warmer and the plants are well established. I find starting indoors is a lot more convenient for keeping an eye on progress. Regards basil, I find the seeds grow well starting indoors but take a while to get established once outdoors, then they go crazy! Since starting indoors I now have few failures but there are some things to be aware of: Light - needs good light so the seedlings don't become leggy. Be aware that near glass (windows/doors) can cause burn damage. Turn the pots around regularly so the plants don't lean. Don't over crowd, thin out seedlings if necessary. Temperature - Note the soil temperature required to germinate. Overheating during the day, too cold at night. I put a box over the pots at night to protect from sudden drops in temperatures. Ventilation - Ensure good air flow to minimise risk of disease, be aware of cold draughts coming from open windows at night. Watering - My seeds are sown in different sized pots/trays depending on what they are. I use
19 Jun 16, Jennifer (Australia - temperate climate)
When cooking with basil do you use leaves and stems.
26 Jun 16, Lee (Australia - arid climate)
Hi Jen you could use the stems but mostly I strip the leaves and use them only unless I am slow cooking.
25 May 16, Amarjit (USA - Zone 6a climate)
Can I get basil in usa
03 Feb 16, Barry (Australia - temperate climate)
What to feed and when basil plants
02 Feb 16, megan (Australia - temperate climate)
A great tip to stop the slugs eating newly planted basil is to cut the bottom off a plastic coke bottle & cover them with it. Not only does it stop everything from eating your plants they grow super fast in there own little green house. Once they are big enough remove the bottles and you are left with a strong hardy plant.
18 Dec 15, mavis buckmeister (Australia - temperate climate)
i crush garlic and mix it up into a spray with a few drops of lavender oil and nothing eats my basil - its a trick my grandfather taught me many years ago - don't know how or why it works - just know my basil keeps growing beautifully year after year after year.
Showing 11 - 20 of 73 comments

I live North Shore Auckland. I've tried to grow allsorts of veg & herbs in pots from seeds outdoors with mixed success. The basil was one of my dismal failures. I now grow all my seeds indoors until the weather is warmer and the plants are well established. I find starting indoors is a lot more convenient for keeping an eye on progress. Regards basil, I find the seeds grow well starting indoors but take a while to get established once outdoors, then they go crazy! Since starting indoors I now have few failures but there are some things to be aware of: Light - needs good light so the seedlings don't become leggy. Be aware that near glass (windows/doors) can cause burn damage. Turn the pots around regularly so the plants don't lean. Don't over crowd, thin out seedlings if necessary. Temperature - Note the soil temperature required to germinate. Overheating during the day, too cold at night. I put a box over the pots at night to protect from sudden drops in temperatures. Ventilation - Ensure good air flow to minimise risk of disease, be aware of cold draughts coming from open windows at night. Watering - My seeds are sown in different sized pots/trays depending on what they are. I use

- Karen

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Buy the app for iPhone/iPod, iPad or Android and support Gardenate

Planting reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on Gardenate. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.