How to Grow Basil For a Year Round
Supply of the Freshest Leaves

If you've ever wondered how to grow basil, here is a simple guide to help get you started. Luckily, with a bit of care, growing the herb is fairly simple, easy to manage and very easy to use!

When it comes to this herb, there are really only a few rules to follow, and this delightful herb should really do all the work on its own. All it really needs is warmth, water and shelter from wind.

Top Tips On How To Grow Basil

picture of basil herb

General Growing Notes: It does best in well-drained soil, so avoid parts of your garden which are prone to being waterlogged or developing puddles.

It also thrives in pots or containers, but just make sure that they drain easily.

It’s a good idea to line the bottom of the pot with bits of broken pot or stones.

Recommended varieties to grow include sweet and Thai basil.

After the risk of frost has passed, find a place that will ensure the plant plenty of shelter, sunlight and water.

Growing Young Plants:

The fastest and easiest way to grow basil is from a small plant, frequently sold in garden centres...

  • Remove the plant from the small plastic container, loosen up the root ball and gently pull the soil away
  • Place the roots in a hole that is about twice the depth and the width of the root ball and fill in with compost
  • Lightly push down the soil to firm the plant in. Give it a good watering

Growing Basil From Seed:

  • Sow your seeds indoors 2 weeks before the last frost date in temperatures of at least 16C (60F)
  • After the last frost, plant out the seedlings or thinly sow the seeds in shallow drills 16-20 inches apart and cover with a ¼ inch (1cm) layer of compost
  • Water, and the seeds will germinate in about a week. Thin seedlings to 6-8 inches apart
  • Once your plant is on its way, the real secret is to just leave it alone! Just water it when needed, right at the base. Don’t give the plants fertilizer
  • Do the same if using pots or containers

Harvesting Basil:

Clip off the largest leaves about half way down the plant. Pick a leaf or two off each plant, so as not to stress one plant too much.

Wait another week or two before your next harvest. 3 or 4 plants will keep giving leaves all season long.

At the end of the summer, it will start to flower. Cut the flowers off in order to keep those flavour-packed leaves growing well.

If you want to store some seeds to sow next summer, just put the flower heads in a paper bag, seal and hang upside down to dry in a dry, warm airy place.

Final Notes on How to Grow Basil:

So now you know plants that will give you fresh and flavourful leaves all through the growing season. And you can freeze or dry the leaves for use through the winter months.

A favourite way of using the chopped leaves is to make a drink from them Click here for my basil tea recipe.

Go to the main how to grow herbs page.

Now You Know How to Grow Basil, Here Are Some Others to Try

Growing Parsley Herb

Tips on Cilantro Growing

How to Grow Mint Herb

Return to Basil Herb 

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