Basil is one of my favorite flavors. It’s sweet, peppery, bold, and nothing else is quite like it. It’s one of the most popular home grown herbs due to its ability to be added to either sweet or savory comfort foods and because it’s SO simple to grow. Although I’ve grown it for years, this year my basil plants haven’t been doing that well. It’s been pretty frustrating, so I decided to look up some growing tips to see why my basil hasn’t been doing well for the past month. After reading everything I could on basil, I figured I’d share a concise growing basil list with you guys! Kind of like the Sparknotes for basil growing haha. Below you will find basic growing tips and some of my family’s favorite basil filled recipes. Enjoy!

 

General:

Basil is an annual plant, meaning it lasts one season.

Needs full sunlight for 6+ hours a day (south or west facing direction works best)

Temperature should be at least 70˚F (21˚C) during the day and should NOT be colder than 50˚F (10˚C) at night (basil HATES being cold).

Requires well draining soil.

If growing indoors, add pebbles/gravel to the bottom of pot.

Soil pH levels of 5.5-6.5 provide optimum growth.

Soil needs to be weed free!

Water the base of the plants to avoid stressing the leaves and stems.

 

Growing From Seed:

Sow thinly and cover with around 0.5 cm of compost or loose soil.

Soil must remain moist but not soaked.

Germination should occur within 5-7 days (Seedlings will have two broad leaves).

Thin out the weaker seedlings, keeping them 12+ inches apart.

 

From Seedlings:

Before transplanting, make sure the soil is moist.

Hole should be twice the size of the width/depth of the root ball.

Keep plants 12+ inches apart (gives them room to grow).

 

Pruning:

Prune after basil has grown 6-8 inches.

Cut stem just above a pair of leaves (I like to keep it low).

Do not let it grow a flower or basil will become bitter tasting.

 

**if you are growing in the same spot in the garden or pot year after year, you need to fertilize the plants or incorporate fresh compost into the soil. Always apply the fertilizer at the base of the plant, avoiding the leaves and stem!**

                (this was my problem…forgot to add compost this year! Whoops haha)

 

Basil Recipes :

Basil and Strawberry Milkshake

Eggplant Dip

Herb Chicken with Tomato and Asparagus

Panzanella

Pesto

Strawberry Basil Jam

Tomato, Basil, and Red Onion Bruschetta

 

 

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