- Most Basil is Half hardy and I have personally had basil survive small frosts. I find basil that is exposed to cooler weather has a leathery texture, therefore I recommend keeping it on a sunny window or in a polytunnel or greenhouse.
Sowing & Growing
- For a head start sow under cover/ in a propagator in early spring.
- Sow outdoors in late spring once your local area has had its last frost date
- I personally recommend growing in pots no smaller than 35cm. We are used to seeing small basil plants in the supermarket, however a full size basil plant can be very large.
- Growing in pots will also allow you to bring the basil inside when it gets frosty, while they are half hardy they can turn leathery in texture.
- If you are growing outside, transplant seedlings 30-40cm apart, so they can grow into bushes.
- Basil will grow best in full sun but will tolerate a little bit of shade.
- If pruned and kept happy, basil will develop into little bushes that can reach 60-70cm tall.
- Since the majority of the basil we grow has Mediterranean heritage they are not too thirsty, but will not appreciate the soil drying out. I aim to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
- Pinching out the tips of the shoots will cause two shoots below to grow in its place causing a bushier healthier plant.
- Basil really does not like being watered on the leaves and in the hot sun.
- We often let some of our basil go to flower as the pollinators adore it.
- You can take a stem at least two leaves above the base so a new one can grow.
- You can pinch individual leaves but the plant can become spindly.
- Like many crops for best flavour use straight after harvest.
Sweet: Cinnamon, Lettuce leaved
Purple: Dark opal, red Rubin
Thai: Siam queen