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

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.
15 Mar 12, Anonymus (USA - Zone 10a climate)
I have had no problem seeding basil indoors. They come up easily. My plants grow fine. But after I pinch of all the god leaves, it produces a little more then stoppes producing altgether. What did I do wrong? Everone says to just keep pinching to help encourage new growth. That doesn't work for me. The plant just dies before producing god regrwth.
30 Mar 14, Steve Lohn (USA - Zone 9b climate)
The only reason you should pinch basil is if it starts to get leggy. Let it grow and take the top leaves for your recipes. I plant lots of it and let it go to seed. The seeds restart themselves in the same pot.
20 Aug 12, (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Don't pinch or cut the leaves off. Instead use scissors to cut the *stem* just below the pair of leaves you intend to harvest. Then, in the kitchen, pick the leaves off the stem while washing them.
20 Aug 12, (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I had the same problem at first. Most instructions aren't very clear on the details. The trick is to wait until there are 3-5 sets of true leaves on the seedling. Then, only cut off the top pair of leaves. Also don't pinch or trim until it is transplanted or in its final pot for growing. For the second "pinch," wait until the suckers (like on tomatoes) have 2-3 new sets of leaves, at least. Always use scissors or shears, btw. A good rule of thumb is to never remove more than 1/3 of a plant's leaves at a time, if you want it to keep growing. Once I figured out how to trim my basil plants, they went nuts within a couple of months. Now I have more basil than I can handle!
Showing 11 - 15 of 15 comments

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 !!

- Monique

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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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