If you’re new to the world of growing basil, you might not be too sure if you know how to harvest basil the right way. Growing basil needs plenty of sunlight – about 6-8 hours per day. You can plant them straight in the garden (protect from predators if necessary) or start them in seedling trays. Herbs are difficult to keep alive and thriving, and it often feels like their survival is down to the luck of the draw rather than it being any reflection on the care you give your plant babies. Grow a garden that needs no watering, no digging, no fertilizing, no weeding and produces fresh, organic food on auto-pilot! Basil plants can be grown as perennials in USDA hardiness zones 10 and above. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. I add basil to many dishes during the summer, but I also find it freezes well in olive oil for use during the winter. Once you have repotted, keep these pro tips in mind, and your new plant is sure to thrive. That’s pretty much it as far as growing on the plants on to this stage. Would love your thoughts, please comment! Once your account is created, you'll be logged-in to this account. Not all varieties will do this successfully. Pruning works because it forces the plant to produce more stems and leaves, instead of flowers and seeds. Very often, when it gets too cold, we just let them die. Growing Tips for Greenhouse Herbs. You can purchase seeds online or at your local nursery. Outdoor Happens is reader-supported. And it's an aspect of growing basil indoors that many people get wrong without realizing it. There are also short 6-inch dwarf varieties, which work especially well in pots. Basil will flourish in the right conditions in your herb garden, or container on the kitchen windowsill. So unless you are thinking of growing basil hydroponically or in a greenhouse, it is best to start growing basil from seed 2 weeks after the last frost. Grow basil under grow lights in a Click & Grow Smart Garden for amazing results – I’ve never seen basil grow that fast! 2. If you grow herbs, basil is probably among them, so you should know the best way to prune and harvest basil so you get the most out of your plant.. 'Finissimo Verde a Palla' and 'Spicy Clove': These quick-growing compact plants are great for containers and edges. This video will teach you the best way to plant, grow, care for, and harvest basil. You can use your fingers to pinch the leaves off, or you can use sharp scissors to cut them. For growing a basil plant, choose a sunny spot. Pin It. Basil can be dried or frozen for use after harvest. Be cautious of placing your basil … Make sure to leave one-third of the plant untouched so it can regrow. Sprinkle liberally with basil seeds and cover with a thin layer of soil. You can propagate basil from cuttings too. The good news is that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. To keep the plant going and producing, keep harvesting the basil leaves on a regular basis. Basil flowers form a large bud compared to plant size, which makes it very easy to tell when flowers are about to develop. Once you bother blanching the basil, though, it's worth making the purée and freezing it that way, since it retains so much more flavor with that method. Basil is very sensitive to frost and will be one of the first plants to go in the fall. Harvesting basil needs careful handling. Suitable for indoor/outdoor pots and the garden; Plant at least 6 plants altogether, they like company; No cold toes; Well-drained, fertile soil; Lots of filtered sun; Adequate water; How to Harvest Basil. If you're growing it outside, a layer or mulch will help regulate temperature and prevent weeds from growing. 1. If your basil plant has started flowering, pinch off the flowers to help redirect the energy back to growing basil leaves. Harvesting basil needs careful handling. Basil plants can have a short lifespan. This will keep your plant healthy and under control, but also, once a basil plant starts flowering the leaves no longer taste as good. Like a box of instant cake mix, basil plants just need water. If you like to cook with basil and olive oil, blend fresh basil with your favorite olive oil and portion it into an ice tray for freezing. 'Lemon': This variety gives a fresh lemony tang to pesto, but its small leaves can be harder to harvest. Growing a basil plant indoors is a reliable way to keep your kitchen stocked with garden fresh flavor, and the foolproof process requires minimal effort. Learn more about how to prune basil to encourage abundant leaf production. The leaves are commonly used in cooking, but the flower buds are also edible. Tip. Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors, providing you can give it enough light. Ample sun also means fewer disease problems and sturdier plants. The leaves that you should remove are those growing on the top of the plant. The plant should also be trimmed at the first sign of a flowering stem being produced. Usually, they are caused by hot and humid weather or the variety of basil plants you have. Some even say tomatoes taste better when they neighbor basil. You can grow basil by planting seeds or by buying plants from a nursery. Plant basil in a larger garden amongst your tomatoes. Tips for Growing Basil. By signing up, I agree to the Terms & to receive emails from the “Rachael Ray” show. Read along to learn how to grow basil, including tips for harvesting that will create full, prolific basil plants to enjoy all season long. Keep in mind; you don’t cut whole stems from the plant when harvesting small amounts. Share. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a member of the mint family. Why pay for basil at the grocery store when you can grow your own? Companion planting: Plant basil among other herbs and vegetables with similar lighting and watering needs, like tomatoes or parsley. Whatever the reason may be, you will need to handle your plant well and keep it from flowering. Supermarket basil is often hydroponically grown and only has water roots. If the soil is not premixed with fertilizer, add some organic plant food and mix it in well when filling the pot. Water the basil plant with 1/2 inch of water immediately after planting and keep the soil moist, but not saturated. This is the case except in the hottest climates, where basil does best in partial shade. Once a basil plant goes to seed, the existing leaves begin to lessen in flavor, so don't be afraid to cut and use it, as soon as possible. Store the frozen cubes in an airtight container. How do you keep Basil plants alive? Suitable for indoor/outdoor pots and the garden, Plant at least 6 plants altogether, they like company, Only harvest two-thirds of the plant at a time, Leave on your kitchen bench at room temperature, Do not store in the fridge as cold makes the leaves go brown (remember basil does not like cold), Basil looks beautiful and decorative like a bunch of flowers, Basil makes any tomato-based dish taste great. Keep harvesting the leaves to keep the plant … Just bring it home, find a sunny spot for it (indoors if the temperatures start to dip into the 40s) and keep it well watered. Use well-draining planting mix in the containers and plant each herb in a separate pot. Thereafter, feed the plants every two weeks with diluted liquid fertilizer. Take leaves as you need them, but you should pick the youngest leaves from the top of the plant before picking older leaves. Click here for more helpful tips https://bit.ly/2MWngw8Are you keeping up with your basil pruning this summer? Basil needs a spot with full sun and a little afternoon shade in hot climates but you can also grow basil in pots indoors, window sills are the perfect spot. Basil is pretty easy to grow. As with many other herbs, basil is a true sun-lover—give it four hours of light each day, and it will thrive. Want to learn how to supercharge your food production and create your own permaculture slice of heaven? Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender, and stir it directly into freshly cooked pasta (with a bit of pasta water to keep it slightly loose). Although basil appreciates moisture, the roots will rot in soggy soil. Growing Basil in Pots will require some extra care but is not much different from growing it in a herb bed. And any type of basil can easily be grown in containers. It doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong, this is just a cycle, slowing down the growth process. Herbs can grow anywhere: Inside or outside your house. Cover your entire plant with a soap solution of 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid to a full gallon of water to eradicate these pests. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, 2 to 11 (perennial in zones 10 and above). You can snip off leaves as you need them from the ongoing supply. 2. Worms convert table scraps in to cold, hard cash in as little as 3 days! If you’re growing basil from seed, plant them in well-draining soil. It is wonderful for flavoring vinegar. She comes from a long line of avid gardeners who have lived in different countries, climates, and cultures but who have always made it a priority to make or maintain a garden and grow some food for the kitchen. Here are some important things to remember, when growing Basil in Pots. The flowers are edible, too, so don't despair if a few plants get ahead of you. Sign Up. Dump and replace the water every few days, to keep it fresh. Disclaimer: As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Harvest from your basil regularly to keep it growing and healthy. Basil grows best in six to eight hours of full sun each day. The extremely aromatic leaves also have a delightful variety of flavors, from the slightly lemony-mint of sweet basil to cinnamon and licorice. Not only does removing those bottom leaves hurt the plant, it doesn’t help the plant create new leaves and branches. Fill pots with a good quality potting seed mix. Supermarket-bought basil (with roots) can also be replanted, although you may struggle to grow it successfully. Ideally the basil plants should be small, short, and fairly full with several branches. If you live in a frost-free area, you might want to allow some basil plants to set flowers and self-seed in your garden. It’s also a good idea when collecting small amounts, to snip the ends of branches on the plant as you pick. As you pinch off leaves, you can encourage the plant to get bushier, rather than taller, which will help keep it from taking up too much space in your house. Keep in mind, not all herbs are alike and some respond faster to pruning than others. Get Our Best Recipes, Life Hacks, DIY Ideas & More… Delivered Right to Your Inbox. That way, when the older basil plants’ roots get too large, you simply rotate in the more immature basil plants that are ready to produce more basil. [Nov 2020], 5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Soil Naturally, Can You Eat Bay Leaves + 14 Others – Your Edible Leaves Guide [Part 1], Plant basil in a container on your veranda. Find a Sunny Spot If you have some compost or fertiliser handy add some to the soil to give your basil a boost. You can preserve basil by freezing or dehydrating. However, basil does not need to remain in the vegetable or herb garden. Basil is also prone to attack by whitefly and red spider mite, both of which can be treated with horticultural soap. When you’re cooking and decide basil would go great with your recipe, you pluck the basil leaves you want. Basil needs between 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily to thrive. Continually pinching and using your basil will coax it into becoming bushy, with more leaves. Basil is a warm-weather, fragrant herb that tastes great in many dishes—including the beloved homemade pesto! Make sure you learn how to dry and preserve your harvested herbs so that nothing goes to waste. Don't bother planting it until the daytime temperatures remain in the 70s and night temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. As you pinch off leaves, you can encourage the plant to get bushier, rather than taller, which will help keep it from taking up too much space in your house. Cut them back to 1 inch tall and, using a sharp shovel, divide them at their base, making sure to include the roots so each one will fit into the container. As a fragrant herb with different colors, they are easy to grow and can add a kick of flavor to a lot of dishes such as homemade pesto. Use a quality potting soil that drains well so the roots do not sit in water. The Sweet Basil variety can reach 6 feet tall but typically grows to about 18 to 24 inches—or even shorter, since its height is kept in check if you're harvesting regularly and not letting the plant flower. Once you have repotted, keep these pro tips in mind, and your new plant is sure to thrive. Basil is one of the most popular herbs for gardeners and cooks alike. Also make sure the container has drainage holes. Plant basil in a larger garden amongst your tomatoes. Growing Basil Indoors. Most herbs thrive in sunny Mediterranean-like conditions in well-draining soil. Flowers are bad. The more you pick those growing tips the more the plant will produce. We use compost for mulch. Keep these tips in mind, and good luck with your next indoor basil project! Don't let the row cover touch the leaves. And there you have it, the secret to growing big bushy basil plants! The easiest way to follow both rules is to plant in large, deep pots, which means more soil for moisture retention and more real estate for spreading out multiple plants and ensuring adequate air circulation. Even during the summer, it's nice to have some plants inside. Harvest basil regularly – even if you don't need it, keep harvesting consistently throughout the growing season. Plant basil in a container on your veranda; Plant basil in well-drained soil on a sunny windowsill. We also use your email address to automatically create an account for you on our website. This helps leaves to keep their full flavor. Learn how to care for 10 different herbs that you can throw into your favorite weeknight dinners for extra flavor. If it gets to the point where you can’t prune off the flowers quickly enough, your plant has reach the end stage and you’d better make a big batch of basil to use up the last of your leaves. Certainly one of the more popular herbs, basil is a tender annual in most cases. I even like to keep a few pots of basil on my back porch to deter mosquitoes. Remove the frozen basil cubes and store them in a plastic bag for up to six months. However, if you use self-watering containers, such as our Pop-Out Pots, the soil will stay consistently moist and your plants will be happier, healthier and will grow faster. Do not allow your basil plant to flower unless you want seeds for next year’s plants. For most home gardeners, it is grown a tender annual plant that lasts only until the first frost and must be replanted every season. Keep the soil evenly moist, as lack of water causes water stress that can eventually kill the plant. Beetles and slugs also can be a nuisance outdoors, creating holes in the leaves. The trick is to get the plant enough sunlight. Imagine pocketing up to an extra $500 or $1000 a month for less than one hours real work a week. Mulch around your basil to aid in moisture retention. Click and Grow Smart Garden 3 Indoor Herb Garden... How to Season a Cast Iron Pan [Super Simple Steps to a Perfectly Seasoned Pan], Ooni Koda 16 Pizza Oven Review – To Buy or NOT to buy? Growing basil: problem solving. Will Basil Die Over Winter? What ’ s pretty much how to keep basil growing as far as growing on the kitchen windowsill they are caused by and... In cooking, although you may struggle to grow plants the containers and edges it very easy to care 10... As far as growing on the outside of the summer, it still needs a lot water... 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