Basil Growing Guide

Ocimum basilicum


Crop Rotation Group



Rich soil.


Sunny, sheltered position.

Frost tolerant



Not usually required.


Single Plants: 20cm (7") each way (minimum)
Rows: 15cm (5") with 25cm (9") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Frost areas: Sow seeds under cover 6 weeks before last spring frost. Sow seed in modules and then transplant the seedlings into larger pots, so they can grow bigger while waiting for the weather to warm up – basil likes hot weather. Or transplant purchased seedlings in late spring Frost free areas: Sow seed directly or in seed beds/seed trays in spring
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Once summer heats up, watch out for flowers developing, as this reduces leaf production. Snip off the flowering top at least six leaf nodes down the stem to encourage more leaves to grow. Perennial basil is available, although it will only survive in areas with mild winters.


Wait until the first basil stems are about 20 cm long before starting to harvest. It is better to grow a few plants and harvest leaves from each one rather than all from one plant.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Basil