Basil plant is one of the most popular herbs that anyone can grow. It does not require complex ideas and methodologies to bring it to fruition. Basil, a member of mint family, is identified by its aromatic leaves, which possess a variety of flavors. It is a common ingredient among the Italian meals. The leaf colors range from rich green to deep purple. The leaves are smooth and crinkled. All types of basil will easily grow in warm and sunny weather. The following tips should be applied by any basil farmer.
Basil do well in a location with plenty of sunlight. Most Basil does well within a range of 4-5 hours of direct sunshine per day. If you are doing the indoor way, a window on the west, south or east should be fine. If your basils are getting long. Lack of sufficient lighting causes the basils to be long, thin, and spindly. To encourage bushier growth, you can pinch the top backs of the plant. Do a regular turning of your plants to all the direction for them to get sufficient sunlight. Artificial sources of light will also encourage the growth of basils, as they require bright light.
The nutrients inside the container become exhausted as basil grows. However, your basil needs to keep on growing. Therefore, you will be tasked with continuing to supply the nutrients to the basil. You may use worm casting tea or fresh worm castings, placed at the base of the plant.
Pests destroy the plants thus reducing productivity. They need to be totally eliminated with the best means available. Worm castings can also be used to prevent pests. They make the basil plant more resistant to pests. You may also use an organocide for the same pest prevention purpose.
Keep your basils in the right humidity. You can do this by placing some pebbles inside the saucer and filling it with water. You can actually place the bottom part of the jar holding the basil inside the water. Accompanied by the high kitchen temperatures; the right humid environment is created.
Choose the desired planting material
Two options exist on the planting material you may use as seeds; seeds and plants. For the former, you may have to scatter the seeds over the location you have selected. Light covering is recommended after the scattering. Water the seedbed thoroughly. Once the seedlings are up, thin the seedlings leaving a spacing of 6 inches apart.
If you decide to use the basil plants, dig holes large enough to harbor the plants. Tease out the root ball into the ground. Cover the plant ensuring that the plant is well secured. Water the plant afterward.
Basil plant is very sensitive to cold conditions. The light frost will kill the plant. Therefore, when growing it in an outdoor setting, be keen to check on the environmental temperatures. Avoid planting the plant until you are pretty sure that the frost has passed.
Transfer from indoor to outdoor
It is possible to transfer your indoor basil to the outside environment. Before you carry out this activity, ensure that you harden off the basil before its transfer. You can do this by placing the container harboring the plant in a partially sunny location, while gradually increasing the sunlight with each day. Use sterilized tools and equipment to carry out the transfer in order to avoid transferring the diseases to the plant.
Basil is ready to start harvesting as soon as it is mature. The maturity period ranges from 60-90 days. The best idea to carry out harvesting is through pinching off the leaves. The buds left will tend to produce more of the fresh leaves in the coming sprouts. An alternative does exist whereby you can pinch off the entire plant top in case you need a bulk amount in your first harvest.
The bottom line
To prevent your basil from blooming, you might want to pinch off the top sets of leaves the soonest the plant reaches a six centimeters height. When the plant sets flowers, it is almost seeding. At this stage, the plant will not grow bushy. When the plant begins to seed, the existing leaves lessen the flavor. At this time, you are advised to cut it and use the plant’s leaves. The flowers are edible as well. Overall, the harvesting process is the best part of growing basil as you tend to have basil at your fingertips!