Beautiful basil

There are a couple of plants that our customers regularly report that they find a little tricky to grow. Coriander is one. Watermelon is another. And the one that always surprises me is basil.

Basil is such a great plant to have on hand. And there are so many different varieites available to try, I thought this month I’d share my advice on how to get the best out of your basil and move it off that ‘tricky to grow’ list.

Basil loves the heat. So my first piece of advice, is look for the sunniest spot in your garden and that’s where you should put your basil.

If the sunniest spot at your place is in your home (for example by a kitchen window), then try growing your basil there. Basil grows really well in pots and can easily be kept inside.

When you’ve found the right spot to grow it just dig a little hole and plant. If you’re growing it in a pot I recommend using a good, general potting mix (available at your local garden centre).

My second tip for successful basil is, pick it regularly. If you don’t pick it quick enough it might start to go to seed. If it does, just pick off any developing flower heads to encourage it to stick to leaf growing.

Next, basil needs water but its very important you don’t over-water it. Water it when you plant it and then water it regularly to encourage lots of leaf growth. But, and here’s the important advice, let it dry out between waterings – don’t let it stay wet.

And my last piece of advice is, don’t just stick to sweet basil – try growing cinnamon, Thai, lemon, or one of the seven varieties we sell at Awapuni. A good way of sampling the other varieties is by getting our mixed basil bundle which will include a selection of some of the different basil varieties currently available at Awapuni.

If you do all of the above, basil will quickly move to your list of favourite, low-maintenance, easy-care plants.


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