There is nothing like going into the garden and picking some herbs to freshen your home, or your food! In this Basil 101 post, I’m going to share a few tips to ensure your gardens will be overflowing with basil. you can never have too mush of this tasty herb!
And this week I am going to talk about BASIL!
Starting Basil 101
I like to start mine from seed, and I’ll sow about 10 plants every 2-3 weeks. This guarantees that the farm (and any friends and family who come begging) will have fresh basil all summer long!
I use a basic seed starting mix, and either prop trays or my soil blocker (which is am-a-zing!). The soil blocks hold together well once the seedling is rooted, and it makes for easy transplanting into the garden or pots for the kitchen windowsill. I give my seeds full sun and they usually will germinate within 5 days. I’m a bit careful about watering, as basil seedlings are prone to dampening off.
My biggest piece of advice for growing basil is Pinch-Pinch-Pinch it back! For a deep dive into pinching, check out my post, the Beginner’s Guide to Pinching.
By pinching back the plant delays flowering, and once flowering occurs its leaf production will slow. And since I grow basil for its flavorful leaves, I just keep pinching it back until it is a nice bushy plant.
I use my basil in everything from pasta and sauces to bruchetta, soups and salads. And if I have enough leftover (which unfortunately never happens) I’ll dry it for the winter.
For more on growing basil and the organic kitchen garden, check out my new book, The Backyard Gardener!
Hi Kelly! Tomato, basil, mozzarella sandwiches are my favorite, especially with extra balsamic vinegar. Looks like you’ll be set for the summer with your basil!
I love your corrugated little galvanized bucket. And I MUST get a soil blocker and try that next spring. Do you have a greenhouse where you grow your seedlings? Or have you used grow lights on your new tables in your basement? I have neither but just have the windowsill.
Your photos are beautiful as always.
Laura in Naperville, IL
Oh you read my mind! I like to slice my tomatoes and layer them with mozzarella, garlic and basil in a red wine and olive oil vinegarette! Oh, my mouth just salivated as I wrote it down!
The soil blocker is amazing. Right now I use grow lights and some windows. I’m thinking about building a hoop house this year, but we’ll have to see how much time I have throughout the summer. Sometimes I have these projects where I underestimate the time it takes to complete them. 🙂
So glad to hear from you Laura! Hope you are enjoying this warm June weather!
Fellow Basil lover here! I have lots planted this year! I’m going to make some flavored vinegars–the purple Basil make a beautiful colored bottle of peppery vinegar! Wonderful for salad dressings. Beautiful images Kelly.
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