|Soil Temp||65° F+|
|Area to Sow||25′ row|
|Days to Germ.||3-10+|
|Days to Maturity||50+|
|Best Planting Method||Transplant|
|Thin to||≥3″ apart|
|Final Spacing||≥12″ apart|
|Approx. Seed Count||250|
Planting by Zones
- Basil is a tasty warm season crop that can grow from early spring until late fall.
- Sow seeds 4-6 weeks before the last frost.
Planting Basil Seeds
- Basil seeds can be direct sown or transplanted. Regardless of how you begin, seeds should be planted into well-worked moist soil that is free of debris. Basil seeds are small and should be covered with finely sifted soil for the best results.
- If you are starting basil in starter pots to transplant out, plant seeds on the top of moist high-quality seed starting soil and cover with 1/4″ of finely sifted soil.
- If you are direct sowing the seeds, make sure you sow them in thoroughly moistened soil. Basil thrives in full sun locations. Follow the same directions as above. Seeds must remain moist to germinate evenly and quickly.
- Once the seedlings have germinated and have a first set of true leaves be sure to fertilize regularly with an organic liquid fertilizer.
- Thin and space basil plants to at least 8″ apart.
- Basil is incredibly easy to grow. Plant your transplants out in the garden when they are 4-5″ tall. Make sure you space them at least 4″ apart. If you direct sow your seeds, thin accordingly. The thinned plants can be transplanted to another area of the garden.
- Keep your plants weed-free by pulling any weeds that may compete with your basil.
Succession Planting Basil
- If you enjoy large amounts of basil, succession planting is a good idea. Start a new round of seeds every 14 days.
Growing Basil in Containers
- Basil is an excellent container crop. If you are planting basil in containers, make sure your container is at least 10″ deep. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture.
- The key to happy basil is to use it! Trimming basil back often will slow its desire to go to flower. Harvest basil often by cutting the top 1/4″ of the plant.
Southern California Pro-tips
- In areas of Zones 9 and 10, basil is a very easy crop that will give you delicious foliage well into the fall.
- Prune heavily in late summer to get another flush of foliage in the fall.
- Mulch heavily around your basil plants to ensure the soil does not dry out or heat up too much. Compost added to the soil at the time of planting will help retain moisture in the soil during hot, dry weather.
- During our hottest months of August, September and October, plants can suffer from the heat. During this time using shade cloth can help protect the plants from extreme heat.