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How To Tell If Basil Is Bad – 5 Important Points

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Basil is a fragrant plant that belongs to the dicotyledonous class and the lacustrine family. Its stems reach a height of 30 to 60 cm, but the wild species grow to 70 cm.

Basil leaves are green or purple-burgundy and oblong-ovoid. At the end of the stems, there are inflorescences, which consist of several flowers. The flower can be of different colors, which are from white and pink to white-purple. 

Basil plant usually blooms from July to September. The flowers, stems, and leaves are rough when touched. You need to know how to tell if basil is bad.

This is because it has essential oil, which accumulates in the glands, giving the basil a pleasant spicy aroma. The plant also contains acidic saponin, tannins, carotene, and other useful substances.

Rotten Basil How To Tell If Basil Is Bad
Rotten Basil via Yelp

How To Tell If Basil Is Bad

1. Color change

Fresh basil normally has a green to purple tone. Also, it is usually black or golden brown. Any deviation means it’s bad.

2. Moist texture

The basil texture is normally dry. If you see moisture on the outer part of the basil, it is clear the plant is bad. As a deterrent, you need to put it away from water as much as possible.

3. Rotten smell

Fresh basil has the best taste, which is good for the nose. The plant is bad if it gives a sharp rotten smell, which is not pleasant. To prevent this smell, you need to provide plenty of air to the area where basil will be stored.

Rotten Basil How To Tell If Basil Is Bad 2
Rotten Basil via Twitter

4. Weak and soft strands

Healthy basil has enduring and strong strands. Those which are bad have weak and soft strands. The leaves start to fall off the main stem. To solve this, put the basil in an area where there are no bacteria and contaminants.

5. Withered leaves

Bad basil has leaves, which wrinkle and wither when compared to a fresh one. To avoid this, keep basil out of direct sunlight as much as possible.

How To Plant Basil

Step 1: Determine the timing of planting

When determining the timing of sowing seeds, you need to focus on the possible timing of planting seedlings in open ground or a greenhouse. In a temperate climatic zone, this is approximately in June.

In regions with a warmer climate, planting of seedlings can be carried out as early as mid-May. By this time, the possibility of recurrent frosts will pass, stable warm weather will be established, and the soil will warm up enough (up to + 10-15 degrees). Also, the plantings of the basil will not be threatened by weather calamity.

Step 2: Preparing the containers

Any container is suitable for sowing basil seeds. When choosing, you should decide in advance whether you will grow seedlings with or without a pick of seedlings.

If a diving procedure is planned, then for the initial sowing, you can choose boxes in which the seedlings will sprout free. It will be easy to care for them, and they can be quickly moved to a new place or turned on the other side to the light.

When growing without picking, individual containers are preferred. In this case, sowing seeds can be done. You need to have peat tablets, cassettes, pots, paper honeycomb, trays made of PVC and polystyrene, containers from scrap materials, etc.

Step 3: Choose and prepare the soil

To grow healthy, full-fledged basil, you should carefully consider the selection of soil. It should be lightweight, nutritious, and have good breathability.

Do not fill the containers with soil mixed with clay. Such soil does not allow air to pass through well, and it quickly becomes dense and begins to squeeze the delicate roots. In such conditions, seedlings can get sick, grow weak, and develop poorly.

It is recommended to steam the prepared soil mixture. Heat treatment will destroy weed seeds and pathogenic bacteria found in humus and garden soil.

If necessary, spill the mixed and disinfected soil mixture with a nutrient composition. To do this, urea, superphosphate, and potassium sulfate are added to settled water. After the fertilizer is dissolved, the prepared substrate is moistened with it.

Step 4: Process the planting material

Basil seeds will be active only in heat and sunlight because their natural habitat is the hot climate. Therefore, before planting, it is recommended to warm them up to a temperature of +40 degrees.

This can be done on a sunny windowsill or radiators. After warming up, it is recommended to soak the seeds for a day in warm water (approximately +40 degrees) and then dry them a little.

Step 5: Sowing

Sowing basil is simple. This procedure includes a drainage layer of expanded clay or pebbles laid at the bottom of the planting container. Its thickness should be 2-3 cm.

The planting container is filled with a prepared substrate so that at least 1 cm remains to the edges of the planting container. After that, the seeds will grow well.

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Basil care

  • Temperature

The optimum temperature for keeping boxes with planted seeds will be + 20-25 degrees. After the emergence of seedlings, the covering material is removed, and the containers are placed in a room with a temperature of + 16–20 degrees. In such conditions, the seedlings will not broaden.

  • Watering

The top layer of soil in the planting container should not dry out. Without moisture, the seedlings will begin to wither and stop growing.

Waterlogging of the earth also harms the seeds that have germinated. It can cause the death of roots and the development of a disease such as a black leg.

Basil seedlings love to be watered with frozen, warm water at least +22 degrees. Watering directly from the tap can lead to the decay of the roots.

It would be best if you tried to moisten the ground and not water the leaves. The moisture ingress on the green parts of the plant can lead to the spread of fungal diseases.

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Basil is the most aromatic plant you can get. It is one of the favorite herbs, not only for its mild scent but also its taste. Typically, growing it requires a unique way to do it. Also, it is possible to know if basil is bad. With the above methods, you will get the right answer.