This article will cover How to grow basil at home
Basil brings a very good taste in our daily food. You can add basil leaves in tomato cocktail and you can also add this in many salads. Fresh basil is very important in the kitchen, for many foodies as well as chef. And it is very easy to grow indoors as well as outdoor.
Basil likes to grow in any climate that’s why it is very easy to grow basil indoor as well as outdoor in the garden. When you have basil in your home you can add it at anytime in your food and it’s the best thing when it comes to fresh taste.
In this article we will give you best tips for growing and enjoying this delicious and flavorful herb.
Why you want to grow basil?
The first thing is you can save money but to be honest it is not that much expensive when you compare it on a yearly basis. The actual benefit of growing basil at home you can have it fresh when ever you want not like you buy it from the grocery store and there they don’t have fresh basil. Unless you want drive basil for some special dish.
When you grow basil you will get around 1 cup of basil every week. And for growing basil you don’t need very big space you can manage growing basil in a small space also. Basil will continue to grow nicely as long as you provide proper light as well as proper moisture.
Basil herb is very sensitive to colder weather conditions so plant basil when the weather is starting to get warmer. Basil is a very good ingredient to add excellent taste in your food, and also basil has some natural remedy characteristics as well. Make thick paste of basil leaves and add Honey and you can have a cough syrup which has a very good taste.
How to grow basil at home
You can grow almost any variety of basil even if you are a newbie in growing plants this herb will not be difficult for you. The basic thing this plant require is moisture, sunlight and nutritious and well drained soil. In colder conditions basil needs full sun and in warmer conditions you can keep the basil in the shades.
This Mediterranean herb require extra water comparing to other herbs. And also keep in mind the soil should be moist all the time. We can give you one tip is to water the basil in the morning and you don’t need to water throughout the day.
After a month of proper care of this plant, it will give you small leaves just cutoff these small leaves initially so that you have a bushy plant. You can plant basil as a companion plant with tomatoes as this will increase the flavor and color. Also helps to get rid of insects such as aphids. You can plant this herb at the border of your garden so, your garden will be safe from many insects and pests that would damage the garden.
Basil is suitable for outdoor Garden or indoor in a pot or container. All this plant require is good soil, proper watering, and good lighting condition that’s it and you will have flavorfull and fragrant leaves.
You can grow basil from seed as they sprout and germinate very fast. You can start indoors if you are planting from seed. Basil is very sensitive to colder weather so try to harvest before fall end in case you are growing it in outdoor Garden.
How to grow basil at home
You can easily grow cutting of basil as well. Just follow this simple tip, you need a 4-inch section of any basil plant which have not start flowering. Make a cut of 45 degree at the stem and keep it in the water. Roots can be appeared within 7 to 8 days and as soon as you see the roots are big enough to anchor the soil you can directly plant the cuttings in the garden.
Soil for basil
First decides whether you want to grow basil indoor or outdoor, it needs to contain a lot of nutrients and it should drain properly. pH neutral soil is very good for growing basil. You can add quality compost in your garden and then you can mix them.
That’s all you need for growing high quality basil at home. If you try and add too many fertilizers in the soil then this will cause the taste of basil to become bitter.
Basil likes to grow in warmer conditions and if you give it around 6 to 7 hours of sunlight it will give you quality result. Plant your basil in East facing window or Garden so that it will be safe from the harsh heat of the midday sun.
You can water the basil plant when you see it’s dry from the soil. And always keep in mind that the soil should be moist all the time. As soon as the soil gets dry the basil plant will start losing its fragrance and color and also it will become very hard.
And always remember to water at the base of the basil plant. Never water the leaves of the plant because this will result in many diseases and also insects gets attracted due watering of leaves.
Space between your basil plant
This plant can reach the height of 24 inch, for some varieties. So always try to plant basil plant 15 to 16 inches apart from each other. And if you are planting basil in container or pot you can choose small varieties of basil plant ex spicy globe.
Basil companion plants
You can plan basil as companion plant indoors as well as outdoor as it is very suitable as a companion plant. When you plant basil this will help you get rid of many insects. You can plant along basil plants like oregano, lettuce, chamomile, and peppers. In fact basil is so useful that only the smell of basil can prevent you from mosquitoes.
The good thing about basil leaves you can harvest it whenever it is ready and there is no rule for basil harvest in one go. When you see some leaves of basil are ready to consume you can harvest them. But if you have plant your basil outside in the garden and each basil plant is producing consumable basil leaves then you can harvest them in one go.
Harvesting basil and mint are almost similar. Just pick up the stem from the two leave meeting point. If you want your basil plant to be bushy and rounded try to clip it regularly.
The best time to harvest basil is before the plant starts to produce flower. And if you think there are some leaves which are yet to mature and flowers starts to appear you can pinch off the flowers. If you pinch off the flowers, basil plant can focus its energy on producing quality leaves.
How to grow basil at home and store basil
If you’ve harvested big amount of basil leaves then freezing them is a very good option. The best way to preserve the flavor is to freeze the leaves and that’s how you can store them for longer duration. And if you have a small quantity of basil to store you can freeze them by chopping or whole leaves in airtight bags.
Another method to store your basil is by drying them, but keep in mind while you dry basil leaves you lose some of its flavor and smell. For drying basil leaves just remove the stems and keep them in any shady place. Wait for 4 days and if the leaves are not dry yet put them on a baking tray within the oven and turn on the low heat and this will complete the drying process.
Insects and bugs
Most common pests you can find around your basil, indoor as well as outdoor are
- White powdery mildew
- variety of bacterial and fungal leaf stem and root diseases
Basil can grow bacterial and fungal infections very easily. This includes WPM, Fusarium wilt, gray mold, And black spot. Also remember, never overcrowd your basil plant as this will result in many types of diseases in the basil plant.