Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Basil Growing Tips

The weather has been warming up recently, which has been wonderful! To celebrate the start of summer, I decided to start my herb garden again and also plant a few flowers so that my veranda will look happy and colourful (hopefully relatively soon!)

Basil is one of my favourite herbs to use and it's relatively easy to grow. Over winter, my basil died and I was pretty sad. I've since found out that most people generally re-plant their basil in spring every year (what a relief that it wasn't my black thumb green fingers that killed them!). A few weeks ago, I went and got myself a tray of six basil seedlings as well as a packet of basil seeds.

I planted my seedlings in last summer's basil window box. Then I used some leftover seedling trays, filled them up with leftover soil and put a few basil seeds in each pocket. I watered my basil seedlings and basil seeds in the seed trays and I was recently able to pick my own basil for use in some of my dishes!

I wouldn't say I'm an expert in growing basil, but I am pretty happy with my basil so far, so I thought I would put together some beginner tips on how to grow basil:
  • To make it easy for yourself, buy basil seedlings and re-plant them into a container (or your herb garden). If you prefer to use seeds - I would suggest you plant seeds around mid-September. (I planted my seeds at the same time as my seedlings - mid October. But I think mid-September, or as soon as it starts getting warmer, would probably be the best time to plant).
  • Make sure your basil plants are in a place where they will receive lot of sun. Basil likes the sun, and as long as they have enough water, they'll be happy.
  • Water your basil plants regularly - I usually water them on a daily or every other day basis. As long as when you poke your finger into the soil, the soil feel damp, you'll be OK.
  • Leave the bottom leaves and pick leaves from the top, often! This promotes growth and the new leaves, so I've heard, are meant to be sweeter and better tasting. It also stops your basil growing crazy tall, which, if you have limited space like me, is a winner!
Good luck with your basil growing!

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