Growing Basil from cuttings is a necessity for most gardeners. Popular in Italian and Asian cooking, it creates a delightful aromatic centerpiece in your garden. While Basil can be an expensive plant to purchase, you can grow it from cuttings for a fraction of the cost. Consider the following steps for planting your first plants, or purchase ready-made herb gardening kits and get gardening.
Identify the varieties of Basil you would like to have in your garden, before beginning to grow them. There are several species of Basil, such as Chinese, Italian, Greek, Parsley and Roman. In your research, you will likely come across several different names for each variety. It is best to choose the most common name for the plant. Some easy to identify varieties are mentioned below:
For planting basil, the easiest way to ensure the health of the plants is to eliminate any pests that may be attacking them. A good way to identify if there are pests in your area is to place your plants on a wood cutting, shake them upside down, and look for pests (including beetles, ants, and moths). If one of the plants shows signs of infestation, lightly pull the plant away, and use the remainder of the soil to grow a new plant. This method, while simple, is an effective way to control pest problems in your area.
To begin growing basil from cuttings, you need to plant the stems in loose soil, allowing them to develop roots and form a root system. When the roots reach the surface, they will begin to produce what is called “bulk”. Bulk growing roots are stronger and will stay intact for longer than stem growing roots. The majority of your plantings should be planted in direct sunlight; however, basil does best in a well drained, not too hot climate. The basil plant will reward you with sweet, strong blossoms that will last for several weeks before they wilt and need replanting.
As the basil continues to flower and bloom, you may want to divide and replant the plants every two weeks. The biggest issue you will encounter in this process is how to find the best location for each division. As the roots from each division spread out, you will find that each division can become the location of a new bed if you do not carefully plan your garden. Do not forget to check the “page count” at least twice a month when planning future divisions. If you have more than ten plants, divide them into three groups and plant them accordingly.
Basil does not require much attention once it begins to flower. It will do well in a variety of conditions and grows best in an area with at least six hours of sunlight. As long as your garden receives a sufficient amount of sunlight, you should not have any problems with providing it with the light it needs to flower. You will also need to make sure that the soil is well-drained to allow for proper drainage, but most gardens will do fine without fertilizer or other additional gardening aids.
One of the most difficult tasks for a gardener with experience is that of selecting the right time to plant the seeds. Many people choose to plant their seeds in late winter or early spring when the sunlight is at its finest. For those who are short on time, this may not be possible. If it is not possible to start planting until the last week of January, it is important that you keep in mind that planting time is not determined by the direction of the sun. In order to determine the right time to plant, you should remember that it is during the coolest part of the day that most of the nutrients are absorbed. Basil, as well as other types of herbs, are best planted when the temperature is cooler.
The final step to growing basil from cuttings is to ensure that you provide it with a well-balanced and moist garden soil. It is important that you know how much water your garden is receiving before you begin digging the holes. Once the soil is ready, the basil will need to sit and get the sunlight it needs to grow. You can begin harvesting seeds from the plant as soon as it begins to flower.