Easy Ways on How to Grow Basil in a Pot
Isn’t it exciting to add new plants in the garden? If you want to grow basil in a pot, this is a great opportunity you shouldn’t miss.
A lot of people plant basil in beds because they are best mixed with different types. But some, like you perhaps, may want to just use a few containers for other reasons. First, it is more practical to grow basil in a pot if you only plan to use a handful of seedlings. This makes them more manageable and easy to care. You may also use a pot than a bed if you want to keep them indoor since the tiny leaves make a good display on the table and shelves. But most would plant basil in pot only to transplant later in a bed.
Why you should grow basil in a pot is a good question. Aside from its simple growing process, this herb consists of properties that are beneficial to the health. In addition, it has a great aroma and sweet flavor. It can definitely be used to add fragrance to certain dishes.
Botanical Name: Ocimum Basilicum
Plant Type: herb
Sun exposure: full sun
Soil Type: loamy
Common varieties: sweet basil, purple basil, lemon basil, Thai basil, globe basil, cinnamon basil
Basil is a warm-weather herb, which means it tolerates temperature between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This is easily grown in tropical areas but can also thrive in countries with four seasons but must be in an outdoor garden during summer.
In a couple of weeks, you can harvest basil leaves that you can use as seasonings. It is that easy to grow basil in a pot.
It is recommended to use seeds as they quickly germinate. You need to start planting a month before the last frost of spring or after so they grow well during sunny weather. Remember that this plant doesn’t tolerate cold but you can still grow basil in a pot indoor if necessary.
The pot should be large enough to have room for water that helps prevent the soil from drying out quickly. A warm weather can easily drain water in the soil. The same reason when adding some mulch or organic matter. Unlike a planting bed, using a container limits the amount of soil and fertilizers to add that’s why it is best that you consider an extra size of the pot.
The soil’s pH level should be between 6 and 7. Otherwise, you may need to modify it by adding more nutrients through organic matter or commercial grade fertilizers. It also has to be rich, moist and well-drained type of soil.
Since you cannot grow basil in a pot permanently, transplanting is definitely required. You may still use a container but has to be bigger but outdoor ground is more preferable. The importance of that is because of its reliance to the sun. To be able to mature fully, this herb needs to be exposed for at least 6 to 8 hours every day. Likewise, it should be kept watered to avoid drying the soil quickly.
Based on testimonies, basil is best grown around parsley, oregano, chamomile, lettuce, peppers and tomatoes. For scientific reasons, this herb has a better flavor and can repel mosquitoes as well.
Observe the leaves once they have started growing. You need to prune the branches back to the first set once each branch contains 6 to 8 leaves. If you see flower heads remove them as they can slow down the growth of the leaves. This is a herbal plant anyway in which the leaves are more useful and not to mention that it’s fruitless.
Regular watering and fertilizing are definitely helpful but you also have to be aware of pests and insects. The common infestation comes from aphids, slugs and Japanese beetles. Such problems can cause the development of bacterial or fungal diseases in the leaves, stems and even roots. To fix this, use a high-graded, organic pesticide.
The best part, whether you want to grow basil in a pot or in a bed, is the harvesting activity. Picking fresh basil leaves can give you a rewarding feeling. You can pick a few every week!
To harvest, pinch the leaves from the stems. But make sure it has reached the height of at least 6 to 8 inches. If you do not follow these instructions, the tendency is that your basil won’t grow more leaves and you end up planting another.
After harvesting, you may use the leaves while fresh or store by freezing for later consumption. Regardless, this herb is a great, tasty addition to soups, pasta sauces, salads and other favorite dishes.
The question now is, are you ready to grow basil in a pot?