- Best grown in a greenhouse or polytunnel, or on a sunny windowsill. If you prefer to grow it outside, choose a sunny, warm and sheltered spot. Basil likes the heat!
- Plant 20-25cm apart in fertile soil - either in the ground or in pots of compost or growbags
- Keep the soil a little moist, but don’t overwater. The best time to water them is at noon in bright sunshine (quite the opposite from most plants!)
- As plants grow you will see small pairs of leaves on the lower sections of the stems. To encourage bushy growth, pinch stems off to a pair of these baby leaves. Also pinch off like this if you see any flower buds appearing - this will keep the plant producing leaves for longer.
- Pinch off leaves as and when you want to use them.
- Leaves have better flavour before the plant flowers.
Annual or Perennial?
Basil is an annual plant. It should last for several months if it is kept well watered and pinched out regularly. At the end of the season, pop it on the compost pile!
Is Basil good for Companion Planting?
You can plant basil in amongst tomatoes in the greenhouse. The two are said to grow well together. We have no evidence of this, but why not give it a try!?