Basil 101

Basil is one of the most rewarding plants to plant as it grows massive volumes of delicious leafy goodness. Here are a few little things you should know that will help you grow the healthiest basil!

  • Basil grows quite slowly from seed and is often dwarfed by other seedlings in the first 3-4 weeks of its life. Once it gets to about weeks 4-5 it will shoot up and continue growing rapidly until it has reached its end of life (where it will start flowering and wilting slowly).
  • Basil prefers a slightly humid environment so you may have a few difficulties planting this in the winter. To combat this, try and keep your smart garden in an area with a consistently temperate temperature.
  • Germination gel; when basil seeds first come into contact with water, they will form a gel. This is a white opaque membrane that surrounds the seed. This is nothing to worry about, it's just a natural part of the germination cycle!
  • The first few leaves that a basil seed will grow are often a different shape to what you'd normally associate with basil. Don't worry, these are just baby leaves, once your basil starts to mature it will start growing 'true leaves' which are packed with all the flavour and goodness of basil.
  • To keep your basil looking lush you need to pluck or prune your plant regularly, this encourages new growth and will also delay flowering. Try to cut from the main stem to promote bushy growth of the plants - kind of like the image below.

How to Prune Basil » The Humming Homebody
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