HOW TO GROW BASIL IN THE GARDEN





Sweet basil - Ocimum basilicum, is one of the most commonly used of all the culinary herbs, especially across Europe and Asia. Of course you can readily purchase basil in the dried section of any supermarket but you will only get that genuine, aromatic flavour if you have picked the leaves fresh from the plant.

Native to subtropical Asia, basil is surprisingly easy to grow, even in northern European gardens. You can either plant pot grown basil plants, or grow your own from seed. Despite its subtropical origins, growing basil in the garden is extremely easy although you will need to treat it as a tender annual. It will be happy in any well-drained soil, and while it will be quite happy growing in full sun it will produce larger, softer leaves in a west facing or partially shaded position.

Water the plants during dry weather, but let the soil dry out before you water again. Avoid getting water on the leaves as this can encourage scorching. Avoid over feeding fertiliser as this will encourage the basil to flower.

Flowering is a problem as it will divert the plant's energy away from producing the foliage. The stem will also become woody, and essential oil production will decline.

If you chose to grow your own basil from seed then sow your seed indoors during March in either pots or modular seed trays using a good quality compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Cutting'. Do not cover with compost as basil will needs light for germination, although you can give a light dressing vermiculite. Gently water and place on a warm, bright windowsill.

You can sow basil seeds directly outside once the threat of late frosts have passed at the end of May. Sow them 1/2 inch deep in seed drills leaving a 18 inch gap between each drill. Once germinated thin out to the strongest seedling until they are approximately 12 inches apart.

For related articles click onto the following links:
Buy Cilantro Seed
Buy Cilantro Seed
HOW TO GROW BASIL FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW BASIL FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW BASIL FROM SEED INDOORS
How to Grow Basil in the Garden
HOW TO GROW CARAWAY
HOW TO GROW CARAWAY FROM SEED
How to Grow Chives
HOW TO GROW HERBS FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW LEMON BALM
How to Grow Mint Plants
HOW TO GROW OREGANO FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW PARSLEY FROM SEED INDOORS
HOW TO GROW THYME - Thymus vulgaris
How to Overwinter herbs
How to Take Cuttings from Bay Trees
SWEET BASIL - Ocimum basilicum
TOP TEN HERBS FOR A HERB GARDEN

No comments: