How to grow basil in a pot at home
Basil is a aromatic plant and a common household plant which can also be used in cooking, for example, to make pesto sauce. And what could be better than using fresh basil that we've grown ourselves? It's simple to plant, you only have to put it somewhere it will get direct sunlight and water it frequently. Remember that basil is an annual plant i.e. you need to plant a new one each year. One way to plant basil is to make a seedbed and then later transfer them into a pot or window box. At OneHowTo.com we show you how to grow basil in a pot at home.
Get seeds to plant more basil in Autumn by taking them from an adult plant and keeping them in a paper bag for planting later. Or you can buy them a garden centre.
Basil is a plant that does not survive through frost or low temperatures, so the best time to plant it is mid to late spring. So, we need to look after it well, keeping it in perfect condition to make sure it grows well.
The next step if you want to grow basil at home is to prepare the seedbed that we are going to use. A good option is to use a shallow container, approximately 5 - 10 cm high, which must be filled with fresh potting soil.
Plant the seeds not very deep (just 1 cm down) by making finger holes in the soil. Put 2 or 3 seeds in each hole and carefully cover them up with soil. After doing this, water around the seed. This plant must be kept on a windowsill, balcony or terrace to get direct sunlight and it should be watered every day or two.
Basil seedlings appear 10 - 15 days after planting, and you can keep it there until they have 6 leaves, (the seedlings will about 8 - 10cm high). The transfer should be done in the morning, before the seedlings receive full sunlight and before watering the plant. Be very careful with the basil seedlings to avoid damaging the roots. Before transferring, prepare a pot (about 20 or 30cm) with fertile, dry soil that is still quite loose.
In the pot, make a hole in the soil with your hand or a gardening shovel and put the seedling in, making sure the roots are not bent. Then, add some soil to cover a little of the stem. Compact the soil a little using your palms closer to the stem and press gently.
Finally thoroughly water the entire soil surface. You have to water basil often but in small amounts so that it is not waterlogged. Once your basil plant has grown, you will have fresh leaves from early summer to mid-autumn.
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- Basil leaves lose most of their aroma soon after being cut, so only cut them when you are about to use them.