For the most vigorous garden plants, choose a well-drained, fertile site with a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0. They can also be bruised and rubbed beneath the eyes and on the forehead for a relaxing reprieve from a long stressful day. When harvesting Thai basil, remember to be gentle as the leaves bruise easily and you don’t want that to happen until you are going to use them. Fertilize basil plants with liquid plant food every 2-4 weeks. A windowsill is often a good place to grow your basil but make sure that it is free from draughts - some windows, even double-glazed ones, sometimes let small draughts in and basil hates draughts. In comaprison to the common basil it has got white flowers. One manufacturer recommends a solution of 2 teaspoons of fertilizer in 1 gallon of water; reduce that to 1 teaspoon for Thai basil. If in doubt, plant in a greenhouse, tunnel house or inside. Basil plants like moisture. Care needed to grow a sweet basil plant varies slightly between indoor and outdoor cultivation. Planting basil from seed is truly enjoyable. Adding compost at planting time provides garden Thai basil with the necessary nutrients for the entire growing season. soil Expect to use between 60 and 90 pounds of compost for each 10 square feet of soil. Nighttime temperature must not go below 50° Fahrenheit or 10° Celsius. A container plant, however, needs regular fertilizing to compensate for the nutrients rain and watering leach from its potting mix. To get a quality crop that lasts from early spring to mid-autumn, it’s best to grow basil in a container. The deeper root zone makes a huge difference when growing basil in containers. Grow basil in well-drained, fertile soil in a warm, sheltered position out of direct midday sun. Growing Basil Outdoors or In Also referred to as ‘Sweet Thai,’ Thai basil plants grow to a height of between 12 to 18 inches (30-46 cm.) During the first 2 months of the growing period, fertilize every 2 weeks. Basil hates having wet roots overnight, so aim to water plants in the morning if possible. Now that you have harvested the basil, what are you going to do with it? Boasting maroon-stemmed, glossy-green leaves and blue-violet blossoms attractive enough to grace flower arrangements, Thai basil grows equally well as a garden or container plant. Work in the early morning after the dew has dried from the leaves, and be sure to leave at least three sets of leaves on each stem. How to Grow Basil Make sure that the soil is moist. More increases its risk of root rot. Plant Height. Over-watering will cause the leaves to yellow and drop, and under-watering will make flowers and buds suffer, so it is important to attain a balance when watering Thai basil. If you would like to know how to grow a big harvest of basil watch this video for my five top tips on basil growing! There are as many uses for basil as there are types. Once frozen, remove from the tray and store in resealable bags in the freezer for up to two months. 3. Thai basil leaves are at their fragrant, flavorful best just as flower buds emerge. Grow a few basil plants in containers so you can bring them indoors before fall frost. Herb Society of America: Basil Growing Guide, Landreth Seed Company Newsletter: Container Gardening -- Things Every Container Gardener Should Know. Basil can also be grown as a window ledge plant all year round. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Thai Basil has aromatic, pointed green leaves with a hint of licorice flavor. Plant basil outside after all danger of frost has passed, choosing a sunny, sheltered spot with well-drained soil or grow plants in containers. It will grow quite well in part-shade or diffused light, but it tends to stretch and become leggy. Popular among the cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, growing Thai basil has a pleasing aroma similar to sweet basil and is generally used fresh in recipes. Growing Sweet Basil Indoors. Mix the water-soluble liquid with water according to the manufacturer's instructions, and apply it at the same time you water your plants. How to Grow & Use Basil; where to buy thai basil seeds Follow along with this handy How to Grow Basil from Seed Guide and grow some flavour.! Grow potted Thai basil in a dark plastic container with multiple drainage holes. If the plant is between 6 and 8 inches tall, it's large enough to harvest for the kitchen. Aspect: The stems of basil tend to be quite brittle, so are easily broken by wind. If you live in a hot area, use mulch around the plants (the mulch will help hold in moisture and suppress weeds). It prefers full sunlight (6+ hours a day of direct light) and a warm climate, meaning more than 70 °F (21 °C) during the day and no colder than 50 °F (10 °C) at night. Will you start by growing basil seeds or basil plants? Florida Gardener: Can You Imagine a Garden Without Basil? For the most vigorous garden plants, choose a well-drained, fertile site with a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0. You can keep a plant in a pot going all summer long by moving it into a slightly bigger container every time roots show through the drainage holes in the bottom – plants could end up in a 20cm (8in) container. Plant outdoors in early spring as long as temperatures don’t drop below 50°F. Thai basil … The basil seeds may germinate naturally in an outdoor garden and provide tiny new basil plants come spring. One inch of weekly water through the growing season keeps a garden plant healthy. Fill the planter half-full with potting soil. Basil is a popular, fragrant herb with a variety of culinary uses. There are actually over 100 varieties of basil that all have slightly different tastes, from Italian sweet basil to Thai spicy basil. thyrsiflora) finds its way into curries, stir fries and other Asian specialties. Plant the new basil in a sunny area, water in and fertilize with a nutrient rich fish emulsion or seaweed solution two to three times during their active growing season. An 8-inch lettuce bowl or 6-inch pot has room for a single plant. Well-drained soil is good soil for basil. When flowers appear on your plant, … If, at the week's end, it registers less than 1 inch, provide enough supplemental water to make up the difference. Don’t even think of planting the larger and more vigorous green basils, cinnamon basil, or Thai basil in a pot smaller than 12” (30 cm). If the gauge holds 3/4 inch of water, for example, provide 1 1/2 gallons of water for every 10 square feet of soil. A licorice- and clove-infused variety of the annual sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) used to spice up many tomato-based dishes, Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum var. Basil prefers a rich well drained soil in a sheltered yet warm position.. More information on Thai Basil seeds. How to propagate Thai basil An annual herb, Thai basil is best grown from seed sown in punnets or trays before being transplanted out into the garden. Because it holds up better to heat, Thai basil is ideal for wilting into sauces at the end of cooking. It's a warm season annual, it will grow 1 to 2 feet tall and wide. In a pinch, you can bruise the leaves of basil and rub the oils on your skin as a mosquito repellent. To test it, insert a finger into the top 1 inch of potting soil. Space the plants 10 to 12 inches apart. Basil is an annual plant, and like me, it enjoys a somewhat tropical environment. If your choice is to purchase from the nursery, pick up a rosemary plant as well. If the temperature drops below 39°F, basil will turn up its toes and die. In loose, well-draining soil, 1 inch amounts to roughly 6 gallons for each 10 square feet. Thai basil plants are great to grow in a kitchen window, not just because it provides quick access to the tasty herb, but also because it is a fly repellent. Handle the plants carefully, as they are quite delicate. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. It is closely identified with Italian cooking, although it is originally from India. Or make a second sowing outdoors in June in order to have small plants to pot … Harvest the leaves in the morning when their essential oils are at their peak and the flavor of the growing Thai basil will be at a premium. In order to grow Thai basil plants indoors, it’s important to mimic the outdoor conditions of summertime. Keep reading for more information on Thai basil uses. Like sweet basil, Thai basil is a perennial. A rain gauge helps determine when to water. If you choose to add fertilizer, a light application of a liquid fertilizer twice a season is all you really need for basil growing outdoors. Take the number of stems or leaves you need by pinching them off directly above another set of leaves. Learn more. National Gardening Association: Plant Care Guides -- Basil. The extremely aromatic leaves also have a delightful variety of flavors, from the slightly lemony-mint of sweet basil to cinnamon, and licorice. Based on testimonies, basil is best grown around parsley, oregano, chamomile, lettuce, peppers and tomatoes. Growing Cultures. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Be sure to try Thai basil, holy basil, and red rubin basil — each variety has its own characteristics. At the end of the growing season, keep your basil. Thai basil plants do best with at least six to eight hours of daily sun. Sweet basil thrives year-round if you grow it indoors, but it is an annual plant outdoors. All Rights Reserved. To be able to mature fully, this herb needs to be exposed for at least 6 to 8 hours every day. If you're planning to grow basil in a pot and want to add fertilizer, your plants will require only a very weak liquid solution every 3 to 4 weeks to compensate for nutrients washed away by frequent watering. Yum! If you use clippers, disinfect them between cuts in rubbing alcohol to avoid spreading disease. Start your seeds off in pots of moist peat-free multi-purpose compost on a warm but not sunny windowsill. Basil needs a spot with full sun and a little afternoon shade in hot climates but you can also grow basil in pots indoors, window sills are the perfect spot. long on purple stems with purple flowers. If we look at how to plant Thai basil in the home garden, our first concern is obtaining the plants. Leaf colors span from rich green to deep purple, with smooth or crinkled leaves… Fertilize plants every three weeks with a half-strength dose of micronutrient-enriched, 12-4-8 liquid houseplant food. Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum var. Seed can also be sown outdoors in drills from May -June 6″ apart. You can put basil in bouquets, tisanes, soups, and almost any fish dish. Select an 8- to 12-inch diameter planter with good drainage. Sun is a key ingredient. thyrsiflora) is a member of the mint family and as such has a particular sweet flavor reminiscent of anise, licorice and clove. Sunlight: Basil is happiest in a warm spot in full sun, however in hot regions it will benefit from some shade. Always follow label recommendations for the amount and frequency of fertilizer applications. Thai basil may also be used as an aromatherapy treatment by bruising the leaves and inhaling their aroma. When to Plant Basil. Plant the new basil in a sunny area, water in and fertilize with a nutrient rich fish emulsion or seaweed solution two to three times during their active growing season. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a member of the mint family. Seeds germinate slowly, a bit faster when heated from below, and basil enjoys hot weather and full sun. Her thousands of published articles cover topics from travel and gardening to pet care and technology. Thai basil can be purchased from the nursery or started from seed. It is from the same family as the common basil. The United States National Arboretum: Basil-icious! Thai basil grow and care – shrub‎ type of basil of genus Ocimum also known as Thailand basil, Thai basil perennial or cold annual plant used as edible plant for the leaves also used as ornamental plant and it’s fragrant, can grow in mediterranean, subtropical, temperate or tropic climate and growing in hardiness zone: 10b+ (perennial), 5-10 (as annual). with leaves 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm.) Sign up for our newsletter. Amend the soil before planting by working a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic, well-aged compost worked into its 6 to 8 inches. As basil stems aren’t very strong it doesn’t fare well in windy conditions so it is best to keep it protected. Recipes online include one for making Thai basil beer and a recipe for Thai basil pesto with peanuts, rice vinegar, fish sauce and sesame oil, which will keep in the refrigerator for a week. Thai basil can be grown alongside common sweet basil. Thai basil plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight to flourish. If you make a mistake, cut the stem all the way back to the next set of leaves. Passionate for travel and the well-written word, Judy Wolfe is a professional writer with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Cal Poly Pomona and a certificate in advanced floral design. If it feels dry, water the plant until liquid runs from its drainage holes. A commercial, sterilized, soilless potting mix containing organic compost or peat provides the light texture and good drainage a container basil needs. The reason to grow buckets of basil is classic pesto, which freezes well in small jars, or ice cube trays. Thai basil prefers soil that is lightly moist, slightly acidic, well-drained and rich in organic matter, such as compost. Simply add basil to mayonnaise for a basic aioli. Pinch the leaves or stems off between your thumb and forefinger, or remove them with clean, sharp stem clippers. To get the highest yield of tender and flavorful leaves, pinch the tip of each branch, starting in early summer when the plants are 6" tall, to encourage bushiness. That temperature should then drop at night to somewhere around 68°F (20°C). And growing basil outside rather than indoors is the easiest of all — it grows throughout USDA zones 2 to 11, according to Missouri Botanical Garden. If you grow yours in containers like I do, the container itself … Care should be taken not to plant basil outdoors until after the last spring frost has passed. Thai basil plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight to flourish.
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