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Harvesting and Preserving Basil

Once your basil plant has reached 6-8 inches in height you can begin harvesting leaves. This involves exactly the same process as “pruning” which I covered in the article Care and Maintenance.  Harvesting basil is important, not only to promote the growth of new stems but to ensure that the plant does not flower too early. Once the herb starts to flower it will stop producing new leaves and the existing...

How to Grow Basil Indoors

In contrast to growing basil outdoors, you will need to pay careful attention to providing proper levels of light, hydration and nourishment for the plant. Mother nature provides most of what a healthy herb needs naturally. However, if you are growing indoors then you should follow our suggestions below to ensure an abundant harvest. The Soil If you are growing basil indoors then you are going to be using a pot or...

Artificial Lighting for Growing Basil

After experiencing the joys of harvesting fresh basil during the summertime, many people find that they want fresh basil all year round. While growing basil indoors is not terribly difficult, many people often find that their plants do not thrive as they would when grown outdoors. This is often a combination of several factors. First, the duration of light or quality of light that a plant receives in the wintertime is...

Metal Halide Grow Lights

Metal halide grow lights have been the choice among professional growers of basil for many years. As far as high-intensity discharge lamps (HID lamps) are concerned, metal halide (MH) produces the most desirable light spectrum for growing basil - blue light. Light that falls within the range of blue light, around a wavelength of 475nm, is best for plants that are in the vegetative state...

Care and Maintenance

Basil should receive 6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day. Some suggest watering outdoor plants every 4-6 days, but I personally like to check mine every other day to determine if the soil is moist. If the soil is dry I will water them, otherwise I wait another day.  In my experience, it is hard to over-water outdoor basil, especially if the plants are in good soil that drains well. For indoor potted plants,...

How to Grow Basil Outdoors

Basil is an annual plant, and like me, it enjoys a somewhat tropical environment. Care should be taken not to plant basil outdoors until after the last spring frost has passed. It prefers full sunlight (6+ hours a day of direct light) and a warm climate, meaning more than 70 °F (21 °C) during the day and no colder than 50 °F (10 °C) at night. The herb should be planted in soil that drains well. It does best in...

Basil Varieties

There are dozens of types of basil, including such unique basil varieties as purple basil and cinnamon basil, which are appreciated for their color, smell and taste. There are also a number of different species that are highly regarded for their use in cooking, medicine and for their ties to religion as well. Two such species include Thai basil and holy basil. Other types of basil are excellent choices for decorative designs...

Italian Basil – Sweet Basil or Genovese Basi...

You may find yourself looking for Italian basil in the grocery store after discovering a delicious sounding recipe that calls for it. However, you may have trouble finding it. Italian basil is not a real cultivar of basil. It is a general term for the types of basil that may be used in Italian cooking...