Basil Growing Guide

Basil

Crop Rotation Group

Miscellaneous 

Soil

Rich soil.

Position

Sunny, sheltered position.

Frost tolerant

No.

Feeding

Not usually required.

Companions

Tomato, Lettuce and Purslane. Jane recommends peppers, Tomatoes, Marigold. Helps prevent mildew on cucurbits.

Spacing

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.

Notes

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.

Harvesting

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