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How to Grow Basil

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Growing Herbs Main Page   |  Garden Store Basil Recipes


Below are general guidelines for growing basil including plant height to enable you to plan exactly where to place them when growing amongst other plants.


For detailed instructions on growing fruit and vegetables plus in-depth articles on growing your own edible produce visit our sister site or why not visit our gardening blog The Urban Gardener.


Plant Height

Up to 45cm/ 18" 

Where to Sow

Indoors in small pots 7.5cm/3" diameter

Sowing time

March/April - temperature   +16C/61F

How to Sow

Very thinly. Cover lightly with compost, water well then place in sealed polythene bags or cover with glass. Water from beneath. Keep compost moist but not very wet.

After Germination

Remove from bags or glass. Place  in light position (out of direct sunlight). Thin to 3 plants per pot when the plants are about 12mm/1/2" tall. This is most easily done with a pair of tweezers.

Growing on - 
in Pots

Harden off plants which have been raised indoors and finally move outdoors once all danger of frost has passed. Once the plants are established with a good root system, divide into separate plants and pot each up into 15cm/6" pots. Pinch out growing tips regularly to produce bushy plants.

Growing on- 
in open ground

As above but plant the divided plants in beds or borders 30cm/12" apart. 


Leaves can be picked about 6 weeks after planting. If harvesting for drying, cut the leaves just before the flowers open.


Goes particularly well in tomato dishes,  pasta and salads. Use sparingly.


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