Basil is one of the most popular herbs and an important component of any herb garden. So the aim of this post is to give a brief overview of how to plant basil. The first step is to decide whether you want to grow your basil from seed or from pre-grown seedlings. Seedlings are small plants that have already started growing. You can buy them from most gardening centers or specialist nurseries. That is why it is not that hard to get an aquaponics project of your own up and running where you can plant basil or any other plant that is compatible with it.
Growing basil from seed is not difficult, but if you’re new to gardening or have less time to devote to your plants during the early stages of growth, you should consider starting with seedlings.
However, one of the disadvantages of growing from seedlings is that it limits your choice. There are more than 150 different types of basil. However, if you elect to use seedlings, most garden centers will only provide a small choice of the most popular varieties.
So if you want to experiment with more exotic varieties, you’ll have to grow them from seed.
Once you receive your seedlings in the early spring it’s important to wait until the last frost if you intend to plant them outside. If you live in a cooler climate, you may have to grow your basil in a greenhouse or use a cloche to protect your plants. For the purposes of this post, we’ll assume that you intend to grow your basil in the ground outside.
Select The Right Soil For Your Basil
Basil plants perform best when grown in fertile soil with a neutral ph of 7.
Consider adding a quality potting soil to the ground before you plant your basil as this will ensure that the ground remains moist and the correct nutrients are present to promote root growth.
Ensure the soil is loose, moist, and free of weeds before you begin planting. The soil needs good drainage so avoid using ground where there is a risk of small puddles forming on the surface.
To provide your plants with added support, you may want to add fertilizer to the ground once a month during the growing season.
Select The Right Growing Location
Basil grows best in warm, dry conditions, so select an area that receives 6-8 hours of direct sunlight every day. You should also make sure that the temperature will not fall below 48°F (9°C).
You will need to allow about 12 inches (30cm) between plants and around 24 inches (60cm) between rows.
Planting Your Basil
Dig a hole in the ground approximately twice the width and depth of the root ball of your seedlings. Select a seedling and carefully remove it from its container. Ease the seedling and root base from the container without damaging the roots.
If the container is organic, you can plant it directly into the ground, which removes the risk of damaging your seedlings.
Gently press the root base of the seedling into the ground and cover it over with an inch or soil. Make sure that the seedling is secure and then water the surrounding area. Avoid watering the leaves, focus on the soil around the base of your plants.
Continue to water the ground around your basil plants as required during the growing season. The aim is to keep the soil moist without causing it to become damp or waterlogged.