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Basil

Ocimum basilicum

  • ABOUT

Basil will be a star in your summer herb garden! And your homegrown tomatoes will have a perfect partner. Basil loves heat and won’t survive outside if it’s too cold, so plant inside and don’t move into the garden until Labour Weekend at the earliest.

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  • Follow The Steps!

Getting started

  • Peel the sticker off and find your soil tablet, leave it in the tray. 
  • Pour 60ml of water into the hole with the soil tablet. All the way to the top of the hole.
  • Let the soil tablet absorb all the water for 5 minutes. 
  • Mix the water into the soil with your fingers to make a even wet mixture. 
  • Remember to wash your hands when you’re done.

How to keep your Little Garden healthy

  • Place the tray in a place with enough light, but not directly in the sun. 
  • Check the soil every day. If the soil feels dry and crumbly, pour a small amount of clean water over the surface. 
  • You should see a little plant appear from the soil in 1 or 2 weeks, which means the seeds have germinated and will be ready soon to move into a bigger pot or garden. 
  • You can thin your basil seedling by choosing the strongest-looking one if more than one little plant grows.

When your seedling is ready to go in the garden

  • If it’s warm outside and your basil is as tall as your hand, your basil ready to move into the garden. 
  • To get your basil used to life outside, you can put it in a warm and sheltered spot for 1-2 hours a day and return inside for the night. Do this for 4- 5 days. Before you shift it out into the garden forever, leave it outside for a little longer each day.

Planting best practice

  • Give this heat-lover a spot with full sun and free-draining, rich soil. 
  • Pots and window-boxes are great basil homes, too.

Look after your plant while it’s growing

  • Water your basil regularly, especially if it’s growing in a pot. You want the soil to stay moist but not wringing wet. It will wilt  or go straight to seed if you left in dry soil, and that means no tasty leaves! 
  • As soon as flower buds appear, you can thin your basil by removing the flower buds them with a gentle pinch. Don’t let the basil grow flowers, as this will reduce the growth of edible leaves. If your plant does flower, it will be loved by bees and butterflies, but may not make the tastiest leaves for you.

Harvest time

  • A couple of months after you plant your basil outside it should be bushy with stems and leaves, and you can start harvesting a few leaves every now and again. Regular picking will encourage your basil to produce more leaves. 
  • Thin your basil by pinching off the branch tips, to help keep your plant bushy and lush.

Watch out

  • Basil is relatively pest-free. 
  • Create your own pest protection, lay out bait or pick off these slimy pests. 
  • Aphids can be a problem, particularly if the plant is kept too dry. Check for these pests frequently; squash them with your fingers or blast them off with the hose as soon as you notice them. 

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