Basil is an easy-to-grow herb that has so many uses. This aromatic plant is used for pasta toppings, syrups, or to sprinkle over your salads. They also give a fresh, clove-scented flavor to your air space.
You can’t go wrong with planting Basil; you can plant it on the ground but learning how to grow Basil in a pot is also well worth it. People who do so soon find out they do well in pots or containers. Follow the steps below to plant cilantro successfully in a pot.
Steps on Growing Basil in a Pot
Planting Basil around the home in pots is both easy and rewarding; their fruits can grow for months. The steps are some of the best practices you can follow when planting a basil plant:
Step 1: Choose When to Plant Your Basil.
Basil plants are very sensitive to cold, so you will do well planting in warm weather and soil. Many have found that Basil tends to do well when you begin planting in May.
Since its seeds germinate relatively fast, it is best to plant them six weeks before frost, as they turn out weak and sickly looking during winter. Calculating your planting season can help you avoid such a terrible yield.
When planting a basil cutting or transplanting a smaller plant, be sure the ground temperature is at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Choose the Best Method to Plant Your Basil
You can plant Basil crops from either a seed or from preserved cuttings. So it would help if you thought of what method is easy and what works best for you before sowing your basil crop.
You can obtain your basil seeds online and from most gardening centers. For your basil cuttings, place about 3-inches of the stem in water for them to easily root.
A typical basil cutting will take about a week to form its roots; you can then transplant them into a pot. While doing this, ensure the soil is extra moist for a few days.
Step 3: Choose Where to Plant Your Basil
Choosing a sunny spot for your basil plant goes a long way in ensuring a productive yield when harvest time comes around. A spot that receives a maximum of six hours of sunlight is recommended to be where your pot is kept.
Step 4: Select the right container
Basil plants need space, so you want to be careful with your pot type. A 3-inches pot with drainage holes at the bottom for your basil seeds is recommended, while an 8-inches pot with drainage holes is recommended for your basil cuttings.
Basil cuttings need more space than your basil seedlings, but a general rule to follow when planting is to ensure the pot has enough drainage holes and allows for space in-between plants.
A small pot allows for a single plant, while a larger pot allows more plants with more space to grow. Also, remember to place a saucer underneath your pot to avoid the mess that comes with watering.
Step 5: Choosing the soil
Good quality potting soil that is well-draining and has a rich potting mix will be good. Basil plants do well in moist soil with a neutral pH. Potting soil that is too wet or dry will cause your plant to struggle while growing, and soil that is too rich will cause the Basil to lose its flavor.
Step 6. Seedling or Transplanting
Basil seeds are directly planted after you must have filled your pot with your potting soil mix. You can scatter a few of your seedlings by hand since the seeds don’t need much room to begin sprouting.
It is also best to plant a few more seeds than necessary and later thin them when they are about an inch in height to get enough space for your plant. After scattering your seeds, you can cover them with a quarter-inch of topsoil.
You can transplant your basil cuttings into your pot after they must have gotten roots. Your cuttings need more spacing than your seedlings for the roots to have room to spread out.
Use the actual basil leaves, not the spade-shaped small leaves, to determine the right size to use when transplanting into a bigger pot. Dig a hole in your pot filled with potting soil and put your basil root first in the hole while ensuring the lowest leaves are above the soil.
Step 7. Nurturing your plant
Watering your basil plants is very important. It’s best you water at the base of your plant and not over its leaves. Keep your potting soil evenly moist but don’t overwater the soil, as this can cause the seeds to rot and make the soil lose its nutrients. Add additional fertilizer if you notice a loss of color in your basil plant.
Step 8. Harvesting Your Basil
Basil harvests are abundant when you continuously tend and frequently clip back the top leaves, and this process ensures that your basil crop grows more rounded and less vertical. Basil plants are harvested like mint, you keep cutting off the ends of a stem at a point where two branches meet as the plant matures.
Keep in mind that you are to harvest before your basil plant starts to flower, but if the flowers are already out, you can also cut them out for your plant to focus on growing more leaves. Continuous clipping does not mean harvesting the whole leaves, be moderate, so your plant keeps producing.
Some Companion Plants for Basil Crop
Plants like tomatoes and peppers are known to share similar watering and lighting needs as Basil, and as such, you can plant your basil crop amongst them.
Other good companion plants of Basil crops include parsley, oregano, and lettuce.
Basil crops are both indoor and outdoor plants. The key is to find a location for your plant to receive adequate sunlight, not to be scorched but to be warmed. Proper tending and care will help your crops keep producing more fruits for a long time.