How to Grow Basil
Basil is a popular herb used for its flavor. It can be used for culinary purpose, medicinal purpose, fragrance etc. It is available in different colors, flavors and sizes. It can be grown both in ground and in containers. If you can provide plenty of water, sunlight and rich soil basil cultivation is an easy job.
1.Â Â Â Find a place in your home where the basil will get sufficient sunlight for about 6-8 hours a day and rich soil. The site should have enough drainage other wise the plant will not grow well.
2.Â Â Â If you are planting the basil in a pot then line the base of the pot with coarse gravel and make sure that there is adequate drainage. Fill the top of the pot with rich soil.
3.Â Â Â If you are planting the basil in ground then dig the soil up to 2 inches depth and incorporate compost in the soil.
4.Â Â Â Sow the seeds of the basil on top of the soil and press them with your hand. Now spread a quarter inch compost or soil above the seeds. Sowing should be done only when the temperature of the soil and the temperature at nights reaches 60 degree F or above. Keep the soil wet till the seeds germinate and it may take almost one week for the seeds to germinate.
5.Â Â Â You can thin the plants when it attains two or three sets of leaves. Thin them in such a way that the spacing between each plant should be about ten inches.
6.Â Â Â Instead of using seeds you can also use plants. You will get basil plants from nurseries.
7.Â Â Â Once your plant reaches a height of six inch, then you have to pinch the tips of the plant. Pinch the tip just above a pair of leaves and this will boost the lateral growths and the plant will have a bush like appearance.
8.Â Â Â Provide organic mulch around the plant and this will help to retain moisture in the soil and will also prevent weed growth.
9.Â Â Â During the first month fertilize the plant once in two weeks with liquid emulsions and there after fertilize the plant once in a month.
10.Â Â Â Take out the flowers as soon as they develop and this will promote more vegetative growth. You can harvest the plant when ever you need it and the more you harvest better the growth would be.