I sort of have a soft spot for basil. When I first got on this whole herb gardening kick, I planted one pot with 3 different types of seeds and basil was among them. Now basil is the only one that has survived and it is flourishing. However, do to my impatience while waiting for it to grow, I decided to buy a basil plant. Now the two share a pot in happiness each giving me a plentiful supply of this delicious and useful herb.
Basil is a pretty easy herb to grow and I highly recommend it for those who are just starting off. It is an annual and its biggest enemy is the cold. Warmth and sunshine are two of basil’s best friends, though you can keep it alive for a short time indoors.
Basil does well in 10-16″ pot and in the group should be planted at least 6″ apart. Although basil likes moist and fertile soil, it despises cold, soggy soil so you can let it dry out ever so slightly in between watering. Your plants should not get pests if they are healthy so keep an eye on droopy or brown leaves. This is a sure sign your basil isn’t happy. If the leaves just started to droop, don’t freak out! They probably just are a little thirsty.
As already stated, basil plants don’t like the cold so their seeds don’t either. While stores will put seeds on sale early, make sure you don’t plant them before your nighttime temperature is consistently above 50 degrees. Make sure there isn’t going to be tons of rain as well. Start the seeds indoors just before the last frost–if you try sooner than this your plant will be at risk for being weak and disease-prone. Keep them near a sun-drenched window that is warm. At the start of summer, move them outdoors. As soon as you can, start to prune the plant to promote bushy growth and make sure to continue to pinch off the flowers.