Growing lemon basil - Knowledgebase Question

St Augustine, Fl
Question by unicornofatl
March 1, 2011
My basil seeds are sprouting in Jiffy pots w/ seed starting soil. I have a 9in pot & want to plant a couple of them in it. Will the 9in be enough or what is to house like 2-4 seedlings? How much should I space them out? Should I take the seedlings out of the Jiffy pots, or can I just plant them in that into the actual pot? When should I harden them to the weather & plant them into the big pot?


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Answer from NGA
March 1, 2011

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You can plant two or three basil plants in your 9 inch container. Basil is an annual plant with a shallow root system so 2-3 plants should have ample root room for good growth. You don't need to remove the Jiffy Pots. Just peel away the top half inch of each pot before placing them into the potting soil in your 9 inch pot. Or, bury the entire Jiffy Pot into the potting soil. If the top of the Jiffy Pot is exposed to the air it will wick moisture out of the potting soil and the roots of your basil can dry out too quickly. You can plant them into your big pot now and take them outdoors to harden them off. Start by setting the pot outdoors in a shady space during the day and taking it indoors at night. Repeat this for 4-5 days, keeping the pot outdoors for longer and longer periods of time until it is outdoors all day and all night. Then begin exposing it to direct sunshine. A few hours of morning sun for a few days, then 4-6 hours of sunshine, then all day sunshine.

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