Keeping a basil plant can be as easy or challenging as you make it. The trick to keeping your basil thriving is frequent and thoughtful care. Even though the majority of people think of basil as a standard green house plant, there is more to keeping this herb thriving than meets the eye. If you have recently acquired a basil plant or are looking for ways to keep the one you have happy and healthy, read on for some helpful tips. Caring for your basil plant involves more than just giving it water from time to time. These plants need consistent attention and light in order to thrive. Depending on how often you plan to use your basil, you may want to invest in different kinds with varying growth cycles. Each type has its own unique needs and characteristics that will factor into how frequently you need to water, fertilize, trim, etc.
Rotate your basil plants
One of the best ways to keep your basil healthy is to rotate your plants. This will prevent the soil from becoming overly saturated and promote a healthy pH level. You can do this by planting a new set of basil at least every three months. Alternatively, you can switch the side of the pot the plant is growing in. If you are keeping your plants in pots, use fresh potting soil every few weeks. It is easier to control the pH level of soil used in pots than in a garden. If you are growing your basil in a garden bed, use raised beds that are easier to access and less strenuous on your back. The ground should be loose and well-drained, with a neutral pH level.
Grow your basil indoors and outdoors
If you are growing your basil in a garden bed, then the best time to plant your seedlings is in June. Make sure the soil is warm and consistently moist. If you want to grow your basil indoors, you can plant your seeds in late March or early April. Keep in mind that some basil varieties are grown primarily for their leaves, while others are used for their flowers. The best time for harvesting will vary based on the type of basil you are growing. You can expect to start harvesting your leafy basil plants within about 8 weeks of planting. Grow your plants near a window, on a counter near a sink, or in a backyard garden bed.
Water your basil regularly
Before you get started with any other basil care tips, make sure you have properly established a regular watering schedule. Most basil plants require at least 1 inch of water each week. If your weather is particularly hot or your soil is particularly dry, you will want to water your basil more frequently. For pots, you can use a soil moisture meter to make sure the soil stays consistently moist without getting too wet. Alternatively, you can check the soil to see if it feels moist 1 inch below the surface. If it feels dry, water your plant. If you are growing your basil in a garden bed, make sure the soil is consistently moist but not soggy. You can use mulch, such as straw or wood chips, to help keep the soil moist.
Fertilize your plant
Fertilizing is an essential part of proper basil care. If you want to keep your plant healthy, you will need to fertilize it regularly. Some fertilizers are specifically designed for basil, while others can be used on a variety of plants. If you are using a standard fertilizer, you can use a slow-release fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer every two weeks. If your fertilizer has a high nitrogen content, however, you should avoid applying it to your basil plants. If you are using a fertilizer designed specifically for basil, you can apply it every two weeks. Be careful not to over-fertilize your plant, however, as this can cause it to grow too quickly and become weak or sickly.
Trim regularly and do not forget the root!
Growing basil can be a little challenging at times. This is why you need to keep a careful eye on your plant and be prepared to act when things are not going as planned. Some common issues you can watch out for include: If your plant has turned brown and is wilted, it has likely been over-watered. You can remedy this by cutting off the root and repotting the plant in fresh soil.
If your plant has turned black and is wilted, it is likely infested with pests. Insects can be controlled by regularly checking your basil plants and removing any unwanted visitors. If your leaves have curled up, they may not be getting enough water. This is a common issue with indoor plants. Make sure you are properly watering your plants, and they should correct the issue on their own. If your leaves are not growing as tall as you would like, you can trim them back. This will help promote new growth and better fruit production. You can cut back the top leaves and side shoots of your plants as well.
Additional care tips and things to remember
There are a few other things to keep in mind when caring for your basil plants. If you live in a humid area, you may want to cover your plants with a plastic bag at night to help them retain moisture. Whenever you are handling your plant, be careful not to get the leaves or stems wet. This can allow pests and diseases to quickly spread across your basil plants. If you are growing your basil plants indoors, make sure you have a proper light source. Keep in mind that most basil plants need at least 8 hours of light each day. If you are growing your plants outdoors, make sure they have plenty of shade during the hottest parts of the day.
As you can see, basil plants are easy to grow and make a great addition to any garden. With proper care and maintenance, these plants can produce plenty of leaves for salads and other dishes. You can also use basil as a natural way to repel pests in your garden. Growing your own basil plants is the best way to ensure that you have a steady supply of fresh leaves all year long. With the right basil seeds and soil, you can easily grow enough basil to last you through the entire year. With these tips, you can ensure that your basil plants thrive.