Tips for Growing Basil

by on May 13th, 2015
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Basil is a type of herb used in various cooking styles-though it is most often associated with Itailian recipes. While basil can often be found at most grocery stores, the price at which this product is sold can be quite exorbitant-especially if the basil is fresh. To save some of your hard-earned money, consider growing your own crop of basil at home. Basil is relatively easy to grown, especially if some basic guidelines are kept in mind. Individuals who have never gardened before may want to consider consulting with a horticulturist prior to starting the project.

Provide Adequate Sunlight

Like most other herbs, basil does best when it is planted in direct sunlight. If you are growing your basil in a large pot, you can easily move the container housing the plant around during different times of the day to maximize sunlight exposure. If you are growing the plant in an actual garden, however, you may want to evaluate the area for the few days, and determine what position receives the most sunlight. Be sure to check out the garden at various times to ensure the best spot is chosen.

Limit Water

The biggest mistake that most people make when it comes to growing basil is that they provide too much water to their plants. Basil’s native climate is relatively dry-and because of this, the plant prefers to have only minimal amounts of water. Basil plants should receive a moderate watering once or twice a week, as more than this can limit plant growth. Never water this herb to the point that the soil appears waterlogged-instead, the earth should be gently moistened. Remember that less is more when it comes to watering most herbs.

Ensure Ample Room for Growing

When planted as seeds, basil should be placed at least three inches apart from each other. This ensures that the plants have adequate room to grow as they sprout and develop into the mature plants. In contrast, basil plants that are planted as seedlings should maintain a distance of at least six inches between all other plants. Placing either the seeds or the seedlings too close to each other limits growth, as the roots of the plants are often “choked out.” Individuals who have limited space may want to consider starting the basil seeds in a small patch of dirt, and replanting them into separate gardening pots as they mature. These pots can often be purchased at home improvement or gardening stores during the spring and summer months.

Manage Pests

Finally, basil plants should be kept free from bugs and disease during their growing season. While diseases are not a serious concern for this plant, insects can be quite disruptive. Individuals who are interested in growing organic basil should consider the use of carnivorous insects to kill pests, while those who are not as concerned about organic gardening can use pesticides. Like gardening pots, these can be purchased at home improvement or gardening stores during the spring and summer months.

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