Basil plant growing in garden
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Growing Basil Is Foolproof With These Helpful Tips
Coffee Grounds
Use coffee grounds as liquid fertilizer, as they contain nutrients similar to traditional fertilizers. The grounds also help prevent fungal diseases and pests.
Add 2 cups of coffee grounds to 5 gallons of rainwater, and leave it overnight. Spray it on the plants or disperse it via a drip irrigation system, and repeat it twice each month.
Artificial Light
During winter, basil must be moved to an indoor space. However, since it needs approximately 10 to 12 hours of daily light to thrive, it'll need artificial light.
Set up an artificial light, which costs as little as $10 on Amazon. Some lights also have a timer setting for 12 hours, so you can program the light to turn on and off on its own.
Right Variety
To produce a bushy plant, ensure the variety you wish to grow is labeled for use in your growing zone. Wherever you live, there’s bound to be a flavorful basil option.
In a colder climate, sweet basil, purple basil, or lemon basil will thrive, whereas in tropical climates, Thai basil or Genovese basil will flourish, as they are not cold hardy.
Harvest Earlier
For a bountiful harvest, pick the basil earlier. Otherwise, the plant switches energy from providing fresh basil leaves to producing new seeds.
Harvest when the temperature's about 80 degrees F and the plant's 6 to 8 inches high. Don't cut off more than 20% of the plant at a time, and harvest weekly in the growing season.
Companion Plants
Plant tomatoes and marigolds as companion plants to basil, as they have similar growing requirements and offer additional benefits to the crop's success.
Tomato plants provide basil with shade and moisture retention, while marigolds deter pests known to frequent the plant. Space each plant 12 inches from the next.