Growing Basil

Basil can be grown either indoors on a sunny windowsill, in a greenhouse, or outdoors in a warm, sunny sheltered spot.  Basil is a lovely aromatic herb which is widely used in the kitchen.  Basil is also the main ingredient in pesto, and homemade pesto is deliciously fresh! A strong basil bush will give you a very good quantity of leaves, which allows you to be extravagant!  Basil plants are not hardy and will need to be planted out once all risk of frost has passed. There are many different varieties to choose from, for example Sweet Basil (the main variety), Thai Basil, Genovese Basil, Cinnamon Basil, Purple Ruffles Basil…and the list goes on. We’d recommend you start with Sweet Basil and if you become hooked, try a few other varieties.


How to Grow Basil – QUICKSTART GUIDE
  • Herb Growing Calendar - BasilSow under cover in 8cm (3in) pots, April to May
  • Transplant into larger pots for growing in the greenhouse
  • Plant outside 25cm (10in) apart, when risk of frost has passed
  • Keep pinching out the growing tips to encourage bushy growth
  • Planting basil seeds - SpacingPick the leaves as required
  • For winter use, pot up in September and place on a sunny windowsill


Basil Varieties

Basil Seeds, Sweet Basil SeedsGenovese – fresh traditional basil flavour, strong scent
Purple Ruffles – large purple ruffle edged leaves, suitable for semi-shade, flavours of aniseed and cinnamon
Sweet Green – good for pesto, large leaves, bushy plants, mint and cloves flavour
Siam Queen – green leaves on purple stems, excellent container plants
Mammoth – very large leaves, excellent flavour, compact plants about 30cm (12in) high

Growing Basil

1. Growing Basil – QUICKSTART GUIDE
2. Sowing and Planting Basil – Help on sowing and planting basil seeds
3. Picking and Freezing Basil – How and when to pick your basil leaves and how to store them
4. Basil Top Tips – Some tips to help you grow great basil
5. Basil Diseases, Pests and Problems – If things go wrong with your basil, help is at hand
Back to main Growing Herbs page

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