Growing Basil - Knowledgebase Question

brentwood, Ca
Question by judyaiken
June 30, 2010
I can't seem to keep basil for more than a month. I have tried growing both indoors and out, plenty of water. Any suggestions?


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Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010

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I'm not sure why you're not having any luck with your basil - it's usually easy to grow. Here are some general guidelines: Plant basil seeds outside one to two weeks after the last frost of the season, when the soil has warmed up. Inside, start seeds six to eight weeks before transplanting outside. Plant successively every three weeks to have a fresh supply all summer long. Basil prefers well-drained soil that has been amended with organic material (peat moss, compost, or well-aged manure). Keep the seedbed moist during germination, and well watered throughout the growing season. Basil prefers full sun but will grow in light shade. Do not fertilize unless the soil is very depleted of nutrients. Your basil will have better flavor if it is not fertilized.

Pinch off flower spikes as they form. This will maintain basil?s full flavor. Harvest the leaves regularly during the growing season. Basil leaves may be preserved by freezing. Rub olive oil on them first and place in ice cube trays or bags. Dry plants by hanging them upside down in a dry area. Crumble leaves and place in an airtight container to use all year.

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