Organic fertilizer for basil

Growing Basil, the Scent of Summer

Growing basil is an indispensable summer ritual. The first time you squeeze a handful of leaves under your nose, and open your hands to release the fragrance, that’s when you know it’s summer.

Growing Basil—‘Genovese’ ©Steve Masley
Click IMAGE to Enlarge

Basil only flourishes when it’s hot. It’s abundant at high summer, just when you need it…for sautéed zucchini.

Whether you harvest a few leaves fresh, and use them in sauces or sautés, make pesto for pasta, or dry the leaves, and use them throughout the year in the kitchen, basil is the one summer herb no cook or gardener should do without.

Growing basil is easy. Give it plenty of sun, moderately good soil and regular water, and as long as it’s warm, basil thrives.

Basil thrives in containers, window boxes, and planters, so it’s easy to keep a steady supply growing right outside your door.

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Basil Varieties | Basil Cold Tolerance | Soil Preparation
Planting Basil | Basil Plant Care | Growing Basil in Containers
Harvesting Basil

How to Grow Basil

Basil Cold Tolerance

As long as the weather is warm—temperatures in the 70’s (20’s C)—growing basil is easy. When the temperature drops, basil suffers more than most plants.

Beginning gardeners usually plant basil too early, while the nights are still too cool for it to thrive.

Snails, slugs, and earwigs love the new growth on tender basil seedlings. If the weather stays cold, the plants can’t outgrow their nighttime munching.

A Basil Seedling Struggles With
Cold Weather ©Steve Masley
Click IMAGE to Enlarge

Students ask me why their basil is growing so slowly, and why the leaves are pale, small, and puckered, and I tell them, ‘wait until we get some heat’. After the first heat wave, the plants take off.

At the first touch of frost, basil drops its leaves, so don’t waste time planting before the last frost date for your area.

Harvest basil when the nights start cooling off in the fall, well before the first frost. For information on harvesting, drying, and preserving basil, see Harvesting Basil.

Garden Preparation for Planting Basil

Basil does well in any good garden loam. It needs good drainage and abundant organic matter to thrive. Treat it like you would a vegetable, and you’ll be able to make lots of pesto.

Soil amendments added for tomatoes are perfect for growing basil. If your soil is lean or you’re short on compost, you can amend the soil with good organic fertilizer like Dr. Earth Organic Tomato, Vegetable, and Herb Fertilizer.

This is a balanced (5-7-3) blend of fish meal and alfalfa meal for early-season growth, feather meal for mid- to- late-season growth, soft rock phosphate and fish bone meal for phosphorous, and kelp meal for potassium and boosting plant immunity.

Top of Page | Basil Varieties | Basil Cold Tolerance | Preparation
Planting | Basil Plant Care | Basil in Containers | Harvesting Basil

Planting Basil

Start Basil Seedlings in a Warm Place
©Steve Masley (Click IMAGE to Enlarge)

The Romans saw basil as a contrary plant, and believed basil wouldn’t grow unless the seeds were stomped on and cursed when planted. I’ve tried this, and it actually works…but so does a gentler touch.

Start seeds indoors a month or so before your last frost date. Place the pot in a warm place—on top of a cabinet or the fridge—and keep moist until seeds germinate (usually 5-14 days, depending on temperature). If you have a seedling heat mat, it’s even better. Move to a sunny window or put under bright lights as soon as seedlings emerge.

Whether you start your own basil seedlings, or buy them from a nursery, don’t set them out till temperatures reach 60-70° F (15-22° C).

Basil Plant Spacing

In a deep-dug or raised garden bed (soil depth at least 18”—46 cm), plant on 10” (25 cm) centers in staggered rows. Basil pairs well with tomatoes both in the kitchen and in the garden; it’s an ideal companion plant for tomatoes.

Succession Planting: If you’re growing basil with a long season, when you set out seedlings in the spring, sow a small swath of basil seeds in another part of the garden at the same time.

This second patch will mature a few weeks after the first, giving you a steady supply of fresh basil through the summer.

Care and Feeding of Basil

Watering

Basil requires regular watering, especially if you’re growing it in containers. As long as it has enough water, basil thrives on sun and heat.

Fertilizing

Basil is a heavy feeder for an herb. It’s best to add a good organic fertilizer like Dr. Earth Organic Tomato, Vegetable, and Herb Fertilizer at the time of planting.

A light shot of fish emulsion, worm tea, compost extract, or compost tea a month after planting will help encourage succulent growth.

Top of Page | Basil Varieties | Basil Cold Tolerance | Preparation
Planting | Basil Plant Care | Basil in Containers | Harvesting Basil

Basil Plant Care

Shaping Basil Plants: Cut Off Main Shoot
Above a Leaf Junction to Encourage
Bushy Habit (Click IMAGE to Enlarge)

Shaping the Plant: When the plant is about 6” high, pinch or cut the main stem off just above where a pair of side shoots branch off the main stem. This encourages a branching, bushy shape that maximizes leaf area.

Honeybee Imbibing from a
Basil Flower © Steve Masley
Click IMAGE to Enlarge

Keep those Flowers Pinched Back! Pinch back the flowers as they form, to encourage more leaf development. The longer you can keep ahead of the flowers, the longer your plants will produce leaves, the part of the plant you eat.

Once the plants start flowering and setting seed, leaf production stops.

When basil flowers—and it will flower, in its time, no matter what you do—all is not lost. You can still harvest the leaves that are there, or you can just let the plants go to the bees.

Basil is great for honeybees and other pollinators. If you’re growing basil for the bees, let some plants flower. Your basil will hum with bees, including bumblebees and other native pollinators. See Attracting Beneficial Insects for more information on attracting and sustaining beneficial insects.

Basil Pests and Diseases

Basil has few pests or diseases. Some strains may be susceptible to fusarium wilt. Usually one branch will wilt from the tip down, then the whole plant will wilt, turn brown, and die a few days later.

‘Nufar’ is a Genovese basil variety that’s resistant to fusarium wilt.

If you’re growing basil where fusarium wilt has been a problem, Actinovate Organic Fungicide may help. Actinovate contains Streptomyces lydicus, a bacterium that’s harmless to mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and insects, but bad news for fungi and bacteria that attack plants.

Top of Page | Basil Varieties | Basil Cold Tolerance | Preparation
Planting | Basil Plant Care | Basil in Containers | Harvesting Basil

Top of Page | Basil Varieties | How to Grow Basil
Container Basil | Harvesting Basil

Secret Basil Growing Tips (From 10 Expert Growers)

Have you ever tried to go basil, but not been as successful as had hoped?
Basil is one of the most popular herbs in the world today and is also a popular choice for small scale growing in urban environments.
What’s the catch? It can be hard to grow….
The good news?
If you’re looking for tips, we have some quick and easy pointers from basil growing experts below…

Are you missing the basil growing basics?

But there are also some best practices for beginner urban basil growers out there. Buying basil seedlings and watering them (as we have found from experience) will usually not be enough to grow vibrant looking and amazing tasting basil.
Louis Pasteur once said “chance favors the prepared mind”, and this advice applies to basil growing.
If you have considered starting a small scale urban farming project and are interested in starting with basil, it makes sense to learn from the experts to minimize the risk of trying and failing miserably to grow your basil (if you have already failed, here are some tips on basil growing mistakes and solutions).
With this in mind, here are 10 expert opinions on how you beginners can grow better basil:

1. Heating your soil can be the missing key for basil indoors

According to Kris Bordessa of Attainable Sustainable, one easy solution for maximizing success potential is to ensure proper soil temperature, especially at the beginning of the growing process. Kris notes the following factors are important:
– Planting basil plants outside before the last frost is not a good idea.
– For growing indoors or even just starting basil plants inside, one ideal option is to use a heat mat to increase soil temperature (For more information on basil growing temperature requirements, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Urban Farming).

2. Your basil plant will grow as much as you let it

Sierra Bright of Natural Living Ideas states that “the best way to ensure that a plant grows to its maximum potential is to give it (what) it needs”. Specifically, when it comes to producing the healthiest growing basil:
– The basil plant growth will be stunted in small growing container. This will be true even if you apply flawless water and nutrients in the form of compost or other organic matter.
– Potential solutions to this problem: space and climate permitting, growing basil outdoors will likely result in a larger plant. In urban settings with limited or exclusively indoor space, a larger growing container is the best solution for basil.

3. Grow Lights a good idea for Growing Basil Indoors

Deb Wiley of BHG.com notes that growing basil indoor often results in plants which are “spindly or leggy”. Lighting is one absolutely essential element to indoor growing:
– Grow lights emit a larger light spectrum than conventional lights, and also can help provide warmth for growing basil plants
– For more information on proper lighting, check out this article with suggestions for indoor grow lighting

4. Pairing basil with other plants to increase resistance to pests

In her guide to growing basil, Rita Heikenfeld of Country Inside Network states that growing basil with other crops that thrive in similar conditions can result in beneficial effects.
– Growing basil with tomatoes can reduce incidence of pests that may be harmful to basil plants.
– Pests often found in basil include beetles, slugs, and aphids.
– Need any other reasons? According to Food Republic author Jess Kapadia in her article Plant Tomatoes and Basil Together To Repel Bugs, basil can even repel mosquitoes if you rub the fresh leaves on your skin.

5. Growing from “cuttings” may be more efficient

Growing from cuttings may result in a better basil harvest (What are basil cuttings?).
Take this insider tip form Joel Orchard of Future Feeders (via Todd Mansfield of Permaculture News):
“Take a cutting from the bush, remove the flowers and some of the leaves (so the cutting isn’t too stressed out) and place it in a glass of water.

Keep the cutting out of direct sun, maybe on a kitchen counter out of the way, and leave it for a week or two.

If it’s warm enough (it’s best to propagate it in the warmer months) new roots will form. You can then pop that in a pot with some damp potting mix and away it goes!”
– Todd Mansfield, Permaculture News

6. The time of the day you pick your leaves matters

Expert Cynthia Sandberg of Love Apple Farm in Los Gatos, CA (via Sari Lehrer in this Bon Appetite magazine article), advises to pick you greens such as basil at a very specific time of the day.
– Picking basil is best done extremely early in the morning before sunrise when both indoor and outdoor temperatures are cooler.
– This picking time will result in less wilting and a higher level of quality during storage before consumption

7. Harvest from “the top down”

Take this basil harvesting advice from Courtenay of Creeklinehouse.com. Once your basil plant is “ready” for harvest, keep her suggestions for specific best practices in mind:
– Harvest from the “top-down”, starting at the top of the basil plant and working down as opposed to starting on the sides (it may be tempting to start on the sides, but resist the temptation).
– Snip the stem about a quarter inch above the “node” of the basil plant (where the smaller stems of the basil plant meet with the main stem.
– For more images on the harvesting process, check out Courtenay’s full post

8. If growing indoors, fertilize every 2 weeks

What is the best fertilizing regimen for growing basil indoors, advice here tends to widely vary. According to Southerncrazed.com in an article titled, 7 tips for growing basil indoors, author Diane describes an ideal fertilizer routine:
– “Basil will perform best if it is fertilized every two weeks. A liquid variety does the job well, and always follow package directions so you don’t overfeed the plant, which can quickly burn it.”
– Effective liquid fertilizer can be found at your local hardware store for less than 5$ USD

9. List: What you need to grow basil indoor: the basics

According to NYRP.org author Jason Sheets, the basic essentials for indoor growing basil are:
– 6-10 inch pots or window box planter
– soilless-seed starting mix or a potting soil mix (avoid outdoor garden topsoil)
– basil seeds (can be purchased locally or via mail through sites like Seeds of Change)
– Spray bottle
– Light source (indoor growing lights or sunlight)
Keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list, just enough to get your feet wet.
View Jason’s full article: HOW TO: GROW BASIL INDOORS

10. Which types of basil are best for growing inside?

According to site Sunshine Advanced, certain types of basil are better for growing inside than others. Some examples from the article:
-“High yielding, compact varieties are best” (Don’t know what that means? See next point)
-What varieties should you look out for? Try:
– Verde Piccole Foglie
– Fino Verde
– Dolce Fresca
– Pesto Perpetuo
– Siam Queen
Bonus tip on lighting: Your light source for growing basil indoor should be either strong sunlight or “high-quality solar fluorescent lights”.
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Check out the rest of our content below!

Add a little zing to your cooking with these striking plants! Home gardeners grow basil (Ocimum basilicum) from seed for its luscious flavor and wonderfully delicious aroma. Basil is extremely popular and available in many tasty varieties, which all make uniquely flavorful and aromatic additions to gardens and borders.

Colorful, compact basil plants do well in containers — both inside and out — and add interest to herb and ornamental flower beds. Excellent fresh or dried, the classic large-leaved variety is a favorite in Asian and Italian cuisine and is best known as the main ingredient in pesto. Fragrant plants reach 18-24 inches tall and are very productive.

This tender annual loves warm weather, but can’t handle cold weather or frost.

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Choose from a large selection of heirloom herb seeds available at Planet Natural. Planting instructions are included with each ​packet and shipping is FREE!

Quick Guide: Planting, Growing & Harvesting Basil

  1. Choose from classic, Italian, Thai and other varieties
  2. Easy to start from seed indoors or out
  3. Start seedlings 4-6 before all danger of last frost
  4. Needs full sun and compost-amended soil
  5. Use fresh or dried
  6. Protect from cold temps and frost
  7. Pests include aphids, slugs and Japanese beetle

Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 60-90 days from seed
Height: 18 to 24 inches
Spacing: 6 to 12 inches apart

Site Preparation

Basil thrives in soil gardens or containers and prefers full sun, regular water and fast-draining, rich soil. Work in plenty of aged animal manure or organic compost prior to planting. Read our article on how to start an herb garden to learn more.

How to Plant

Sow basil seeds outdoors when the soil is warm and the temperature does not drop below 65˚F. May be started indoors under lights 4-6 weeks before planting out. Space plants 6-12 inches apart in all directions. Plant seeds just beneath the soil surface. Seeds germinate in 5-30 days, so keep moist. An application of natural and organic fertilizer once or twice during the gardening season will help promote sturdy plant growth.

Make successive sowings for continuous summer supplies and freeze any excess for later use in winter. At the end of summer, allow plants to go to seed to attract beneficial insects and pollinators.

Note: You must keep the flower spikes pinched back to promote a full, bushy shape and to prevent plants from becoming woody.

Harvesting and Storage

Basil is ready to harvest when it gets to be about 6 inches tall. Cut in the morning after the dew has dried just above a leaf node. Do not wash the leaves or aromatic oils will be lost. Leaves are best used fresh but can be stored frozen in plastic bags.

Dry basil by hanging it upside down in a dark, well-ventilated room and store in airtight containers. Learn more about Harvesting and Preserving Herbs here.

Tip: Harvest frequently to encourage plants to produce new growth.

Insect & Disease Problems

Common insect pests found on basil include aphids, slugs and Japanese beetles. Watch closely and take the following common sense, least-toxic approach, if found:

  • Remove weeds and other garden debris to eliminate alternate hosts.
  • Discard severely infested plants by securely bagging and putting in the trash.
  • Release commercially available beneficial insects to attack and destroy insect pests.
  • Spot treat pest problem areas with diatomaceous earth and neem oil.
  • Scatter Sluggo®, an organic iron phosphate bait, around plants to kill slugs.
  • Apply Milky Spore (Bacillus popilliae) to kill Japanese beetle grubs in turf.

To prevent many common garden diseases, choose a site with good air circulation and apply organic fungicides like copper and sulfur solutions early, when symptoms first appear.

Seed Saving Instructions

Basil will cross-pollinate with other varieties and must be separated by 150 feet while flowering. Plants form seed capsules containing four seeds. Allow capsules to dry, then harvest and separate seeds by hand.

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Growing Basil

Out of all the herbs that I grow each year in my herb garden, basil has to be one of my favorites.

There really is nothing like a few fresh basil leaves tucked inside a BLT sandwich on a summer day or a quick tomato sauce made from fresh tomatoes picked from the garden or bought at a road side farmers stand simmered with some fresh cut basil.

And then there is of course pesto sauce. I ADORE pesto sauce and I make batches upon batches of it each summer and freeze it. Because it ends up costing me about $1.00 to make up a batch of homemade pesto versus the $4.00 + I would pay for it in the stores.

Do you want to learn how to make pesto at home? Check out my recipe for Frugal Homemade Pesto…it has a secret ingredient in it that adds extra nutrition and saves you money!

My Tips For Growing Basil Like A BOSS!

Basil is actually a rather easy herb to grow at home. Even up here in zone 4 in Wyoming (ie. super short growing season) I have never had a problem growing it and getting a healthy harvest of fresh basil for my kitchen.

There are several varieties of basil (Latin –Ocimum basilicum) that you can grow, from the classic sweet basil, which is what most of us know and love as the yummy Italian herb in pasta sauces, pesto, bruschetta, etc.) to lemon basil, Thai basil, purple basil (adds some interesting color to your plate for sure!).

Basil is considered an annual, meaning that you usually have to replant your plants each year because they eventually die off when the weather gets cold. Some folks have been able to grow basil perennially (meaning it comes back year after year), but that is mostly for folks in very warm locations. Even when I lived in hot and sunny California my basil plants eventually bit the dust and I had to plant new plants each year.

Regardless of which type of basil you decide to grow they all require the same sort of care.

Start From Seed Or Plant Started Plants:

Depending on your level of gardening expertise you can either plant your basil from seed or plant already started plants. There are pros and cons for each.

Seed

  • Pro – Cheapest way to go with a packet of seeds costing about a buck at home home and garden type stores.
  • Con – Unless you live in the warmest of warm locations you have to start your seeds several week (6 – 8 weeks to be exact) before your areas last frost date.
  • Pro – You will get way more basil plants out of 1 packet of seeds. More basil plants equals more fresh pesto in the freezer!
  • Con – Starting seeds takes time, space and effort. It is do-able but it is not always easy.

Started Plants

  • Pro – Instant herb garden, just dig a hole, remove the plant from the pot and plant it in some dirt and voilà you have an herb garden.
  • Con – More expensive. Started herbs can cost anywhere from $1 to $3 per plant.
  • Pro – No need to think ahead…if your garden is ready and it is warm enough to plant, you are ready to go!
  • Con – Less plants, unless your budget is out there you are not going to get as many plants as you would if you started them by seed.

I personally have done it both ways, but these days, because I am busy and have limited space to start seeds indoors I usually opt for the started plants. I know it is not the most frugal option, but when I can turn a $2 plant into $30 worth of pesto it is still a frugal option for me!

Plant Basil In Full Sun:

Basil requires a good 6 or more hours of full sun. So find a nice sunny spot in your garden to plant your plants. My back yard is mostly shaded by the house so I actually plant my herbs in the front yard which faces west and gets the most sunlight.

Give Your Basil Plants Plenty Of Water:

Regardless if you start your basil plants from seed or plant already started plants from the nursery your basil plants are going to need a lot of water to begin with. When I first plant my basil in the spring I give them a good soaking every day in the early morning. This helps ensure that they are well hydrated throughout the day and gives them plenty of time to dry out and prevent any fungus or mold growing on them like you might experience if you water in the evening.

Water daily for the first 2 weeks or so until your plants are established and then you can let up on your watering schedule to every 2 to 3 days. If your plants are looking droopy in the hottest of summer days you may want to increase your watering to every 1 to 2 days so that you plants stay luscious and do not melt in the summer heat.

Focus your watering to just the base and root area of the plants to avoid getting too much water on the leaves. This also helps with mold and fungus. A drip irrigation system is ideal, however, you can also just water by hand and just focus your hose or watering can at the base of the plants. My kids love to take over watering duties and as long as I show them how first, they do an excellent job at this easy gardening task.

Mulch Your Basil To Conserve Water And Prevent Weeds:

Weeding the herb garden is never my idea of a good time. So to help prevent weeds from taking hold in our garden we apply mulch pretty liberally around all our of garden plants. In our city the city waste department allows you to buy mulch that they have made from ground up tree branches collected in our parks and throughout the city. The cost is about $10 for 100 yards of mulch. It might be a good idea to see if your city or county offers a similar program where you live. Otherwise you can purchase mulch in bags at any home and garden center for a couple of dollars a bag.

In my neck of the woods we have a big problem with Canadian Thistle which has long tap roots and stickers all over it. I hate these weeds with a passion because once they take hold in the garden they are extremely difficult to get rid of. So as an extra measure of precaution I recycle cardboard boxes but cutting or tearing them into chucks (be sure to remove all packing tape, staples or stickers from the cardboard first) and placing those chunks around our plants in a nice thick layer before topping them off with the more decorative garden mulch. This really works for me in keeping those nasty Canadian Thistles and other pervasive weeds from growing in the garden.

Not only does mulch help prevent weeds, it also helps you conserve water by slowing down the evaporation process from the soil to the air. Meaning you may be able to water your basil plants a little less often. And that ends up saving precious resources, time and energy…a win, win, win all around!

Fertilize Your Basil Plants To Give Them Food To Grow:

Everything that is living and grows needs to be fed and your basil plants are no exception. Make sure your plants are fertilized and fed with a good organic fertilizer. I really and honestly think that if you are going to grow your own food at home you might as well try to use organic products whenever possible. I mean organic produce is expensive at the grocery store…so why not grow your own at a fraction of the cost for almost zero extra effort?

I personally like to use a liquid organic fertilizer such as Miracle Grow brand, simply because a. it is easy to find where I live and b. plants absorb it both through their roots and their leaves. But you can also use a granulated organic fertilizer too. Most garden centers are carrying this stuff these days and the price is compatible to their non-organic counterparts. When shopping for a fertilizer look for one that is neutral in PH – a 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 should do the trick. That just means that there is the same ratio of nitrogen, potassium and
phosphate. If you use a granular fertilizer be sprinkle it around the plants in the soil, but be sure to avoid getting any on the leaves as this will cause them to burn.

Pinch Your Basil Plants For Bushy Growth:

I have saved the best tip for last folks! They key to getting big luscious basil plants is to pinch your basil plants. The process is simple. Once you basil plants get to be about 6 inches tall, pinch off the plant at the stem right above where there are two leaves growing. You can pinch the tips of your plants off with your fingers or use a pair of scissors or gardening sheers. Either way snip the tops off right above a two-leaf bud and the plant will then grow more stems and leaves. You should pinch your plants at least once a week during the peak growing season, your basil plants will get bushier and bushier creating more delicious leaves. If you skip a week or two it will be OK but you should really try to keep on top of it. If your basil plants start to flower be sure to snip those flowers off too because the plant will put all it’s energy into creating seeds from those flowers and the quality and flavor in the leaves will be diluted.

Of course, while you are pinching and snipping off those basil stems you are essentially harvesting your basil. Turn those leaves into pesto, dry them in your oven or food dehydrator or toss a bunch into your favorite pasta sauce!

As long as you give your basil plants plenty of water and sunshine, feed them regularly and pinch them off you should end up with beautiful plants that will supply your family with fresh basil all summer long!

Additional Reading

Frugal Homemade Pesto Recipe

Creamy Pesto Dressing

5 easy-to-grow Fruits & Vegetables that will save your family a bundle

Follow our Frugal Gardening board on Pinterest!

Follow HotCouponWorld.com™’s board Frugal Gardening on Pinterest.

10 Tips For Growing Basil Like A Boss

I love basil. It makes my summer worth the sweat. It makes your food come alive.

I would eat pesto on fresh pasta every day if I could. But ya know, you need variety and things like that. Still 50% of our lunches end up being this because it tastes so dang good. The other 50% ends up being super yummy salads, or campfire food over the fire pit in the backyard.

As you can imagine we end up going through quite a bit of basil during the summer. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but fresh basil from the grocery store can be kinda pricey. Somehow it also goes bad before I get around to using it. Either I forget about it, or it gets lost in the back of the fridge never to be found.

This is why we grow our own. And a lot of it. It’s cheap to grow, and you really don’t have to do much for it. Just water and weed as necessary.

10 Tips For Growing Basil Like A Boss

1) Water. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but it is suuuuuper important, and odds are you were gonna forget at some point. So this is your reminder: Water your dang garden every day, and douse it good. You eat food and drink water every day. Your plants need the same thing. This does not mean fertilize it every day (they make their own food), but you definitely need to hydrate it daily.

2) Brush your babies. Whenever you go to your garden to water, ruffle and brush the basil plants with your hands to stimulate growth.

3) Pinch the flowers. If you start to see flowers at the top of your basil plant, pinch it off. This ensures healthy beautiful plants. If you leave it on it will produce less leaves for you, and focus on spreading that seed.

4) Fertilize. You could either buy some plant food or use coffee grounds to fertilize with instead. I use coffee grounds with great results, and the only time I have used a store bought plant food…it killed all of my plants soooooooooo….

5) Pest control. If the bugs are buggin’ ya, try using liquid seaweed as your fertilizer for a while. You could also make a natural pesticide by mixing a teaspoon of natural dish soap per quart of water, and distributing it using a spray bottle.

6) Basil and tomato were meant to be together. Whenever I cook with tomatoes then chances are I’m using basil too. WE like them together but turns out THEY grow better together.

7) I’m all about that sun, ’bout that sun, no shadow! Remember when we were talking about the food and water every day thing? Your basil needs sun to make food so it can grow. Choose a spot that gets about 6 hours of sunlight a day when planting your basil.

8)Taller is not better. You should NEVER let your basil get taller than a foot. If you notice the basil starting to grow tall and skinny with less leaves and bigger spaces between them, then you should cut off the top to get it to the desired height.

9) You will rue the day you put rue and basil together. RUE IT!!! Okay, here’s the deal. Basil….it sort of hates rue. So don’t put them together. Got it?

10) Enjoy it year round. Bring it indoors in a pot by a window. You will need to fertilize less, and figure out how often you need to water by checking it every so often.

Now it’s time to garden it out, yo! I hope y’all were able to glean some knowledge from this list, and I hope your basil plants give you lots of love. Cause I love y’all, and you deserve basil.

Fertilizing Basil Plants: How And When To Feed Basil

If you’re tempted to toss a handful of fertilizer at your basil plant in hopes of creating a full, healthy plant, stop and think first. You may be doing more harm than good. Basil plant feeding requires a light touch; too much fertilizer may create a big, beautiful plant, but the quality will be badly compromised, as fertilizer decreases the all-important oils that give this herb its distinctive flavor and aroma.

Fertilizing Basil Plants

If your soil is rich, your plants may do just fine with no fertilizer at all, or you can dig an inch or two of compost or rotted animal manure into the top 6 to 8 inches at planting time.

If you think the plants need a little extra help, you can use a very light application of a dry fertilizer once or twice during the growing season. The best fertilizer for basil is any good quality, balanced fertilizer.

If you’re wondering when to feed basil growing in containers, the answer is once every four to six weeks for indoor plants and every two to three weeks for basil in outdoor pots. Instead of a dry fertilizer, use a water-soluble fertilizer mixed at half strength.

You can also use an organic fertilizer such as fish emulsion or liquid seaweed. Mix and apply the fertilizer according to label recommendations.

How to Fertilize Basil

To feed in-ground basil using a dry fertilizer, sprinkle the fertilizer lightly on the soil around the plants, then scratch the granules into the soil with a spade or garden fork. Be careful not to get the dry fertilizer on the leaves; if you do, rinse it immediately to prevent burning.

Water the plant deeply to prevent damage to the roots and to distribute the fertilizer evenly throughout the root zone.

For containerized basil plants, simply pour the diluted, water-soluble fertilizer onto the soil at the base of the plant.

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