If you are a lover of Italian food, tomato soup, fresh salads and savory pasta then you should definitely be growing your own basil. Basil is one of my favorite herbs because it adds such a rich, full flavor to so many different types of dishes. Basil blends well with parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and sage to make a delicious homemade Italian seasoning.
Basil is also a beautiful plant, there are several varieties you can choose from, but they all make a beautiful plant full of height, color, and flavor.
Ready to get started?
Should I Plant in a Garden or Pot?
Basil will grow happily in either a garden bed or a pot. If you’re planting basil in a garden, wait until it is at least 50 degrees outside and choose a spot that gets at least 6-8 hours of sunlight and a little shade in the afternoon. Basil likes rich and moist soil, but should drain well. You can also plant lots of different kinds of basil together. If you use a pot, make it a big one to prevent the soil from drying out too much.
How Much Do I Need?
You don’t need more than 2 or 3 plants to get a lush and full basil harvest that provides plenty of leaves for a family of four. If you have a large family, or if you plan to use your basil for pesto seasoning you might want a few more plants.
How do I harvest it?
Basil can be easily harvested without any special tools or techniques. As soon as the basil reached 6-8 inches high, it is ready to use. Simply pinch the leaves from the stems anytime you need to use them. Doing this actually encouraged the plant to produce more leaves, so don’t be stingy with using your fresh basil. Using it actually makes it grow more!
What about the winter?
Basil doesn’t like cold weather, so at the very first sign of a frost, harvest all the basil by cutting them down at ground level. You can dry the leaves if you’d like, or simply put the cut ends in flower and enjoy a fresh fragrance in the air.
Does it need fertilizer?
No. Especially if you plan to eat the basil you cook, you don’t want to use any type of fertilizer that may leave harmful residue on your plant. Basil will happily grow in rich soil, full sun, and plenty of water without the need for extra fertilizer.