Basil seeds, whatever variety, in individual small pots or plugs,
one seed in each, one seed’s depth. Sow from mid May, or
earlier with warmth.
As soon as the seedling has two good leaves, and as soon as any
roots show through the base of the pot, do not delay in potting
the plant on. Pot on to a 7cm pot using John Innes No 1 type of
Grow on the Basil plant in full sun and as much warmth as possible.
Water first thing in the morning onto the soil in the pot, without
wetting the leaves. Check the watering every other day. Give adequate
water, but do not waterlog. Never leave the pot standing in water.
If you forget to water one morning, do not water in the evening,
but wait until the next morning. Remember that Basil grows well
in countries that do not have such a fall in temperature in the
evening as the UK.
growth slows down, feed once in this size pot, with a seaweed-based
organic liquid feftiliser.
Pot on finally to a large pot of 23cm diameter, slightly smaller
for Greek Basil. Use a John Innes No 2 type of compost.
If there is no danger of a late frost, harden off the plant by
placing it outside during the day, and bringing it in at night.
Repeat this for 4 to 5 days. Place outside from mid June onwards.
Find a sunny spot, sheltered from the wind, but not too close
to a wall or a fence. Place the pot on a garden table or on another
large pot upturned. This will ensure good drainage and be above
slug level. Basil grown outside in this way is not troubled by
whitefly and is better ventilated than in a greenhouse.
Stop the Basil plant from flowering by harvesting often. Use scissors
to snip whole sprigs from the tops of shoots, rather than pulling
off individual leaves.
Water every other day depending on the weather. Keep harvesting
and give a weekly organic seaweed feed.
the end of September bring the Basil plant indoors and place it
on a sunny windowsill. There should still be enough leaves to
pick off it for another month. Basil is grown as an annual in
the UK, so when it is finished with by November, put it on the
compost heap, and start a Basil again the following spring. There
are many different Basils to try with many different flavours
for different dishes, but all require the same growing conditions.