The Basil Basics – 5 top tips

We are tomato obsessed here at She Grows Veg, so needless to say that basil means a lot to us too! We tend to grow all our basil from seed which saves so much money rather than buying plants from the supermarket that may well have been sprayed at some point.

Basil is easier to grow than you think. Here are our 5 top tips to help you get growing:

  • Basil likes it hot so will thrive in a greenhouse and is even said to enhance the flavour of tomatoes when grown alongside them as a companion plant.
  • If you are planning to grow your basil outside bear, in mind that this plant is really not a fan of the cold so wait until night time temperatures are up around roughly 10c before you plant it into its final position.
  • In order to achieve nice big bushy basil plants, cut off the top 2cm of immature plants when they get to about 15cm tall. This will stimulate them to branch out and become bushier plants rather than tall and thin. You can keep doing this as your plant sends out new stems and don’t forget to add the what you snip off into your next salad.
  • It is really easy to make a seemingly endless supply of basil plants from just one. Take cuttings of around 15-20cm long, remove the lower leaves and place in water. Within around a week you will see new roots growing from the submerged stem. Once there are a few decent looking roots, pot up your cutting and enjoy your new basil baby. This is a great way to make garden ready plants from supermarket herb plants.
  • Flowering changes the flavour of basil leaves so it is best to avoid it if possible. By continuing to harvest regularly you will keep your plant in the leafy stage for as long as possible. If it does flow, no panic, it is still perfectly edible, and the flowers make a beautiful edition to salads.