Basil Stat Summary
Plant Spacing: 12-18" (304-457 mm)
Row Spacing: 24-36" (609-914 mm)
Planting Depth: 1/4" (6 mm)
Plants Per Person: 2
Soil Temperature: 70-75°F (21-24°C)
Days to Emergence: 5-14
Recommended Soil PH: 5.5-6.5
Seed Indoors: 4 weeks before transplanting
Earliest Outdoor Planting: After Last Frost
Can direct seed outdoors
Can seed indoors
Start seeds inside 3 to 4 weeks before your last spring frost. Sow in sterile seedling mix and lightly cover seed with vermiculite. Basil prefers well drained fertile, loamy soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Transplant basil into full sun garden location at 12 to 18 inches apart in rows 2 to 3 feet apart. Do not direct seed into the garden until soil temperatures have reached at least 70 degrees F and all danger of frost has passed.
Maintain consistent soil moisture throughout growth. Pinch off buds as they emerge to promote bushiness and leaf production.
Harvesting and Storing Basil
Harvest in cooler times of day by cutting the leaves back to about 1/4 inch above the nodes to allow for vigorous regrowth. Basil can be used fresh, refrigerated, frozen or stored dry. Basil will only last 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
To freeze, place dry whole basil sprigs in plastic bags; remove the air from the bag. If drying, immediately after harvesting spread the leaves (no stems) out on screens in a dark, dry, well ventilated area for about 3 or 4 days. If leaves do not crumble between your fingers, finish drying in a slightly warm oven with the door open.
Basil Insect and Disease Information
Keys to control include planting in well-drained soil, spacing plants so they dry off after rain, and removing infected plants from the patch.
Basil Yield Information
Basil plants can be slowly harvested over a long period of time. You may want to grow more if you plan on making pesto or using large amounts of basil in your cooking. 1 cup of pesto takes about 1 basil plant.
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