Planting basil is easy and enjoyable. Learn how to plant basil anywhere and use it everywhere. Basil can be started from seed indoors and then transplanted, the seeds can be sown directly into your garden or it can be purchased as a plant from your local nursery and placed directly into your garden. Knowing how to plant basil depends upon what you are starting with.
If you have started your seeds indoors, you can transplant the seedlings 7 days after germination. If you will be planting an herb garden outdoors, transplant your basil seedlings well after the last frost. The weather should safely stay above 50 degrees for at least two weeks before transplanting your seedlings to an outdoor garden.
If you will be planting basil seeds directly into your outdoor garden, you can do this 1 to 2 weeks after last frost. Starting basil from seed outdoors will mean that your plants will not have as much of a head-start as they would if you had started them indoors while the weather was still a bit cool, or if you purchase plants that have been started in a nursery. To compensate you want to get your seeds in the ground as early as possible, but not before the last frost.
If you purchase plants that have been started in a nursery, you are best to wait until 2 to 3 weeks after the last frost to purchase and plant. This will ensure that your plants will note touched by frost and that the soil has had sufficient time to be warmed by the sun. This is a good for tip for planting herbs of any variety.
Basil likes warm, moist soil and full sun. It grows best in areas with hot summers. The warmer the climate, the bigger and healthier this herb will grow. You can grow basil in cooler climates as long as the temperature is not below 50 degrees. You should expect smaller plants with less yield, though.
Ideally, basil should be planted 8 to 10 inches apart, but it will tolerate closer planting if space is limited. Just be sure that the roots have adequate room to spread and the leaves will receive adequate sunshine. If you find that your plants are not doing well, simply transplant some of them to thin them out a bit and increase the space between each plant.
Planting basil near tomatoes and bell peppers will enhance the growth of these plants, but you are not limited to just planting an herb garden or a vegetable garden. Plant purple varieties of basil as an interesting border plant in your flower garden or choose a variety with a flower that you like and let it bloom.
Varieties with smaller leaves are easiest for growing indoors and in containers. If you are planting basil in a container, the same rules apply. Space your plants 8 to 10 inches apart, use moist, rich soil and keep your container in a warm, sunny area.
When you plant, remove seedlings or plants from their container and gently spread the roots to encourage them to expand when planting. Place the plant into a hole just deep enough to accommodate it. Fill in with soil and gently compress the soil around the base of the plant to be sure it is secure.
Water the soil just enough to dampen it and then cover with mulch. Water the mulch to maintain the moisture to the soil. A great, natural way to keep weeds out of your herb garden is to cover the ground around the plants with a layer of newspaper before adding mulch. This is a great way to reuse your newspaper and when the paper gets wet and the mulch on top of it helps to keep it wet, it helps to keep your plant roots warm and moist and to keep the weeds out.