Tuesday, April 26, 2011

10 Tricks for Growing Basil Indoors


Basil is a marvellous herb, and one which can easily be grown both outdoors and indoors. Basil is a well-known herb, known for its fragrant and tasty leaves which can be used for raw salad, or cooked with tomatoes to make tomato and basil sauce. There are, of course many other uses for the herb, classed as an essential by culinary experts worldwide. To grow basil indoors one should become familiar with these 10 tricks which will have anyone on their way to growing indoor basil within no time.

First ensure that its soil has adequate drainage at the base of the pot. This will allow the roots to develop properly and the plant will benefit from it as the excess water will be able to exit into a dish or saucer.

Second, know the pH level of your soil. Basil grows best in soil which is between 6 and 7.5 on the pH scale.

Place a few seeds in each pot. Sow them thinly, and the plants will have the right amount of space to germinate properly. This should happen around a week after sowing.

Once the plants have grown two proper leaves, you should remove the two weaker plants and leave the strongest in the pot.

Monitor the pH level of your soil every 4-6 weeks, and change it if needed using half-strength organic fertilizer. You should add a small amount of fertilizer every month or so to give the basil the nutrients it needs.

Make sure that the plant pots get enough light from the sun (about 6-8 hours a day). This can easily be achieved by placing the pots on a window sill where the sun will provide the basil with the energy it needs to grow and mature.

Water your basil at the base of the plant – do not shower the leaves and stems.

Water about once a week for the best effects.

Remove any flowers as they appear, as this will keep the basil’s flavour, and promote its growth even further.

The beauty of basil is that it can be grown all year round. Lastly, do not harvest a complete plant, but to take a few leaves off of each, starting from the top of the plants. That way further basil can be harvested as and when needed.

This guest was provided by Danny Ashton who talks about Growing Basil at his blog.
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