The first step when planting basil is to pick the correct type of soil and fertilizer.
Selecting A Soil Type
Basil thrives when using a high quality, pH balanced, potting soil or rich organic soil with a perlite and peat mixture. You can also make your own potting soil by mixing regular potting soil with a cup of perlite and two cups of peat. The soil will remain moist and soft by using a high quality potting soil, which will ensure proper root growth. As always, the soil needs to be weed free before planting. Fertilizer can be added once a month or you can use potting soil with a time released fertilizer to encourage healthy growth.
Planting Basil Seedling
If you are planting a basil seedling, your first step will be to dig a hole in your garden or pot for the seedling to be placed in. If you are using a pot, remember to place rocks at the bottom of the pot for adequate drainage and add enough potting soil to fill almost to the top of the pot. The hole should be large enough to fit the entire basil seedling soil base.
You will now need to remove the seedling container. To do this, rotate the container between your hands back and forth until you can easily remove the container without damaging the roots. If your seedling container is organic and can be planted directly in the ground, then you will skip this step.
Next, place the seedling in the ground and cover the top of the seedling soil base with an inch or two of potting soil. Press down firmly but lightly on the potting soil so the seedling is firmly in the ground. Finally, you can now water your new plant.
Growing Basil From Seed
If you are growing basil from seed, note that transplanting basil grown from seed can be somewhat difficult as basil is delicate and fragile. To overcome this, try to place the seeds directly in the ground or pot where your basil will actually grow, therefore a transplant will not be necessary. Planting basil seeds is almost the same as planting seedlings.
If growing in a pot, fill the pot almost to the top with potting soil. If growing directly in ground, ensure you ensure the soil is weed free and moist before planting. You should mix in at least six inches of potting soil into the surface, if possible. Sprinkle the basil seeds two inches apart on top of the potting soil and then cover with another inch of potting soil. Water immediately.
Basil thrives and grows tall and strong in warm, sunny weather. It is important to pick a location that will receive at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day. Therefore, avoid temperatures below 48 degrees Fahrenheit (8 Celsius). If possible, plant your basil in south or west facing direction which will ensure the maximum amount of sunlight per day.
The best time to grow is in the summer when temperatures are warm and the sun shines the longest. The colder the temperature, the slower the plant will grow and the smaller the plant will be.