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

08 Dec 15, Prometheus (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Here's a quick tip for dealing with slug and snail damage to basil plants, if that is a problem for you (seems to always happen to me). Make a large spray container's worth of coffee up - you can use instant or ground. Then, add a very small squirt of dishwashing liquid to the bottle and give it a good shake. Sprayed liberally on plants, this makes for an excellent snail and slug repellent (although you do have to reapply after rain / overhead watering). I have lost more basil seedlings than you would believe this year due to a snail / slug army; this is the only way I have managed to have some left for the kitchen. Another item you can buy, which is probably even more effective against slugs / snails, is a product called copper tape. You just tape around the perimeter of your containers or raised beds, and they will stay well away - it gives them something akin to an electric shock. On the downside, it is quite expensive to purchase, even from ebay.
15 Dec 15, dave (Australia - temperate climate)
use 30 cm of copper wire and fashion into a horseshoe this will increase the growth of the plant as well as keeping insects away from it. research lahkovsky machine to understand how this works
12 Nov 17, trish (Australia - temperate climate)
Do you think the copper would work with black millipedes? (Or do you reckon with all their little legs there would be insufficient deterant?)
13 Sep 15, Leanne (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted basil last year and something ate it all leaving just the stems. It was there one day and gone the next! I don't want the same thing to happen again, but I couldn't work out what ate it. Nothing else in my garden bed was touched. Does anyone have any ideas of what may have eaten my basil?
01 Oct 15, Jane (Australia - temperate climate)
I have the same problem with possums. This year I am going to try growing it in a cage.
29 Sep 15, eddie (Australia - temperate climate)
It could be various things however id suggest something clearly visible if it can devour your entire plant overnight caterpillars and snails are the usual suspects
22 Jun 15, (Australia - temperate climate)
It is normal, we just lost one. Staff of buntings told us have to wait for at least six weeks before planting again.
13 Jun 15, bec (Australia - temperate climate)
My basil plant has slowly started to die off at the bottom it's still only small. Don't want to lose it. Any suggestions?
22 Jun 15, Paul (Australia - temperate climate)
Basil is generally considered an annual, so save some seeds and start again in the spring time
08 Jan 15, Annette (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi. I am an absolute herb growing virgin so any advice would be greatly appreciated. My question is, I want to start a vertical garden outside my kitchen window, where it will get full sun all morning and into the early afternoon as well. Ive read that basil can be quite a large bush. Is it possible to grow it in tubs on a vertical garden?
Showing 21 - 30 of 73 comments

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)

- Jayne

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.