How to Grow Basil

Basil is a popular herb that’s purchased in small containers at your local grocery store. Many people grow their own basil either in their own outdoor gardens or inside their own homes. Learning how to grow basil is an easy way of breaking into gardening, since basil plants are less demanding than so many other crops.

Putting the time and effort into planting, growing, nurturing and harvesting your basil plant is a rewarding hobby. Home-grown basil is usually of higher quality and freshness than store-bought varieties. If you practice and refine your growth and harvesting methods, you might even start selling or giving away packages of your own homegrown basil.

Guide to Growing Basil

In this article, I’ll cover preparatory information essential to understanding what you need to know to grow basil. Later, the article supplies a short list of the materials and tools needed, in order to implement the planting and growth cycles.

The latter half of the article is devoted to describing in detail the steps necessary for planting, growing and harvesting your basil crop, as well as giving additional tips and important secondary information regarding basil farming.

Primary Basil Information

There are several varieties of basil. If you’re looking to grow the type of basil used in Italian food, for instance, you’ll want to purchase seeds for “sweet basil”.

Basil can be grown in most moderate climates and has a conventional growing cycle. Basil is known for having a strong pungent and sweet smell, so be warned if you are growing in close quarters.

Where Is Basil Native to?

Basil is actually believed to be originally a native of Asia, being transported to the Western world during the era of the spice roads and their exploration by westerners, such as Marco Polo. Originally, basil spices were used to help preserve food, after it had lost its taste and vitality, since refrigeration of any sort was rare and canning methods were nonexistent at the time.

Basil is simple to grow, since it’s not as large as many other plants. You can grow basil either in your home or your own personal outdoor garden. To be safe and prepared, though, you’ll need several basic tools and substances to get started on the project.

How Do I Grow Basil?

How to Grow Basil

How to Grow Basil

To start growing basil, obtain a spade and watering can. These are basic tools for both the planting stages and growth stages of your basil project. You’ll also need other preliminary items.

Growing Basil

Basil requires adequate drainage, when grown in pots. Make sure that the container or pot you use is lined with gravel to allow the soil to drain. Be sure that your soil has been well dug and tilled. Also, you’ll sufficient weeding of your garden area, if you are growing your basil outside.

The best time for growing basil in most temperate climates is around late March if outdoors and late February indoors.

Sowing the Seeds

Sow the seeds into the soil thinly, covering each with about ½ cm of soil enrichment product or manure. Water your basil plants with no more than ½ inch of water per week, distributed evenly.

Your seeds need to germinate approximately one week. Check after 5 days or so. Adding organic mulch around your outdoor plants can help reduce the chance of weeds forming and killing your plants. This also enriches the plant’s soil supply.

Harvesting Basil

You can harvest basil for its leaves. It’s best to pick some leaves off of several different plants, rather than pick all of the leaves off of one particular plant. This allows the leaves to grow back on each of the plants more evenly, while denuding a plant of too many of its light-catching leaves can kill it.

Basil is harvested for fresh use and dried applications. Using fresh basil involving no other activity than picking leaves off the plant. Drying basil involves either using a store bought dehydrating machine, or hanging your plants in an arid environment for a day or two to deprive them of moisture.

Basil Grow

Once you’ve mastered how to grow basil, you can take it a step further. If you want, start using your new basil plants to expand your operation into both outdoor and indoor plant types. As an important part of learning how to grow basil, you can use timed lights to grow basil year round.

Homegrown basil is helpful for people who cook a lot of their own food at home, or those who want plant-based gifts for their friends and families. Since the leaves from existing basil plants can be used to plant and grow new plants, growing basil is a self-sustaining type of home agriculture. Once you have your original seeds and potting, the only cost is water and fertilizer.

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