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Growing Basil

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

(Best months for growing Basil in Australia - tropical regions)

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 18°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 20 - 25 cm apart
  • Harvest in 10-12 weeks. Pick before flowering.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Tomato
  • A Basil plant
  • 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

01 Sep 18, Pam Luxmoore (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I’m at my cousins place on Mt Tamborine. Magnificent views over Gold Coast. Can I plant basil seeds now for her and do they like full morning sun ( view of coast ) or afternoon sun the other side. Could easily grow inside or outside with partial shade etc. thanks Pam
02 Sep 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Google it - basil full sun. 6-8 hrs of sunlight.
19 Aug 18, Joe (Australia - temperate climate)
I have cleared my entire garden and am planning starting veggies and herbs. My garden has areas that are full sun, partial sun, and full shade. I live in Perth, WA, temperate climate. Can anyone help me in finding out which veggies like to be planted in full sun , partial sun, and shady parts of my garden ? Thanks Joe
25 Aug 18, Peta (Australia - temperate climate)
Just remember that "Perth sun" is stronger than normal sun. so most plants that are "full sun" need partial shade in our summers. Now is definitely tomato and basil season. I would figure out what you like to eat first and put those in as a priority and work around them. Ask your local garden centre including your local hardware garden centre :)
27 Aug 18, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
I would dispute that the Perth sun is stronger than normal sun. 35 or 40 degrees is the same everywhere. It is the humidity or dryness that is the difference. A humid 35 degrees in SE Qld is just as prickly as a 40+ dry Easterly in Perth. I have lived in both and I know which I would prefer - WA.
20 Aug 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Look up the internet for how much sunlight vegies need. You can find a table that shows this. Some need 4 some 6 some 8 hours. Most plants need quite a lot of sunlight - otherwise you end up with small weak plants.
07 Jul 18, LD (Australia - arid climate)
My Basil is being invaded by caterpillars. How can I get rid of them?
23 Sep 18, Louise G (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Small green caterpillars. Either pick them off by hand or sprinkle with ground pepper for an organic fix. You may need to squirt leaves with water first. This works with spinach and mint too.
24 May 18, Margaret (Australia - temperate climate)
Can you get a basil that grows in winter I get morning and northern sun my other herbs are growing great
25 May 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I was given a basil plant yesterday - from up north Queensland. He said it flowered in the late winter - spring. Growing it for bee attraction. Will ask what it is called tomorrow.
Showing 1 - 10 of 70 comments

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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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