Gardening

Basil, how to grow this aromatic and medicinal plant

Basil is part of the traditional gastronomy of many Mediterranean towns and nowadays it would be unthinkable not to use this spice in some dishes, especially in pasta and pizza recipes, right?

That is why in this article we want to offer you the main guidelines or tips so that you are able to grow basil in the orchard, garden, in pots in your kitchen or on the patio .

I assure you that growing this aromatic plant can be a very rewarding activity that can become an activity to do as a family to teach the little ones to know about botany and nature. Read my post on Urban Family Garden for more interesting details.

Why do we like to grow our own aromatic plants ? Because on the one hand we take advantage of the medicinal properties of basil and on the other we can enjoy its flavor and aroma in a multitude of cooking recipes.

What is Basil?

Basil, Ocimum basilicum , is an annual herbaceous plant whose origin is located in Asia, specifically in India.

Basil belongs to the botanical family Labiatae  or Lamiaceae , like other aromatic and medicinal plants well known and cultivated throughout the world such as rosemary , thyme , oregano or mint .

This plant can reach a certain height if we let it grow, even exceed half a meter in height.

Basil leaves are vivid dark green and rich in oils, and when it blooms in summer, it has small white flowers.

Basil essential oil is obtained by distilling its flowers and it has stimulating, antibacterial or anti-inflammatory properties.

The cultivation of basil in the vegetable garden, garden and pots

* Sowing

We can start preparing seedbeds from seeds, with seedlings or with cuttings from a mother plant.

In case you start sowing the seeds, it is important that you make sure you use reliable ones, opt for Organic Basil Seeds to start off on the right foot.

To make the cutting, we will do it at the beginning of spring, if we are going to prepare the seedbeds we will do it at the end of winter or early spring and the seedlings can be acquired in spring or summer and transplanted directly to their final place of cultivation (this is the fastest and easiest way of the three).

If you are not very clear about how cuttings are made, in this article I will tell you in detail How to Obtain Cuttings and thus multiply your plants easily. You can also read about How to Prepare Seedlings so as not to have doubts when carrying out this important step.

I leave you a link to the Sowing Calendar for the whole year that can be useful so that you also know when to grow other plants.

If you plant the basil in pots, keep in mind that you need a pot or planter with a minimum depth of 20 cm.

Basil is a branched-stemmed plant that can grow up to half a meter tall. Make sure that you leave at least 20 centimeters between plant and plant so that they have room to grow well and develop their foliage. If you grow basil in pots or planters, they should have a diameter of 20 centimeters as well.

basil plant

* Temperature

This plant prefers warm and temperate climates. With temperatures hovering between 15 and 25 ºC, the plant grows better.

Keep in mind that Basil does not withstand low temperatures well. If you live in a cold climate, it is best to grow basil indoors, indoors, or even in a greenhouse.

* Substrate

Basil is a plant that needs a substrate rich in organic matter, but not excessively fertilized.

Applying a small amount before planting is sufficient.

The substrate, whether you grow Basil directly in the garden or garden or in pots, must be well aerated and have good drainage.

* Light

This aromatic plant likes direct sunlight.

But don’t worry if you can’t place it in a sunny area, it can also grow well in areas with partial shade during some times of the day.

* Risks

Basil requires regular watering, so I recommend opting for drip irrigation so that a certain degree of moisture is maintained in the soil.

Very abundant waterings can end up damaging the roots of the plant and a constant excess of humidity can cause fungi.

* Plagues and diseases

If we overdo the irrigation, fungi can come out .

The most common pest of basil is snails .

* Harvest

We will make small progressive harvests that, in addition, will be beneficial for the plant because they will stimulate the production of more leaves.

Take the largest leaves first.

* * Curiosity : basil is a very interesting plant to grow in orchards and gardens because it repels mosquitoes, aphids, moths, worms and mites, read more here . .

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