16
Sep

Home Herb Hacks | Part 1 - Basil

Basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, there are so many amazing herbs!

We are going to be giving you our Home Herb Hacks, all our top tips on how to grow herbs in your own home.

Cooking with fresh herbs makes such a difference to your cooking instead of using dried herbs. We would always recommend using fresh produce when cooking a meal whenever you can.

Having herbs in your kitchen or garden that you can pick fresh for your meal of the day is a great way to take your home cooking to the next level!

Plus, if you frequently use herbs in your cooking you can save so much money by choosing to grow your own plants.

So, what is the best way to grow herbs at home?

We have chosen some of the most popular and commonly used herbs starting off with our favourite...

Basil

Basil is one of our most commonly used ingredients.

Here are our home herb hacks for basil…

Where should you plant your seeds or plant?

Basil can be a great addition to a container garden. Or it can also thrive in a pot with well-drained soil, positioned in a sunny window.

When should you plant your basil seeds? 

Basil is easy to grow from seeds and tends to germinate quite quickly. When you are planting from seed, plant seeds around April/May. Basil is super sensitive to the cold, so if you are moving seedlings from an indoor pot to an outdoor pot, or have plants in the ground, you will need to keep an eye on the spring temperatures. If it feels like the temperature is too cold, transfer it back inside, or cover the plant carefully on the colder days.

Growing your basil plant: 

As well as growing basil from seeds, a cutting of basil will easily root when placed in water. Roots will form within a week. Transplant the basil directly into the garden or container once a healthy root system has formed.

How can you keep the soil just right?

Basil does its best in well-drained, moist soil with a neutral pH. We would recommend using rich compost for the soil at the beginning of the season. The key to basil is to not overcomplicate it, if you start messing with the soil too much you are more likely to kill it or to grow a less intensely flavoured plant.

What is the right lighting to keep basil in?

Basil grows best in a warm environment. The position you place the pot indoors, or outdoors, should be somewhere that it can receive about 6 hours of sun every day. If you don’t have a spot that receives this much sunlight don’t worry! Your plant will still grow just fine, it may just have slightly slower growth and less intense flavour.

How often should you water a basil plant?

Give your basil plant water when the soil feels dry to touch. It is best to water the plant at its base, do not use a spray bottle on the leaves.

How much space should you give your basil plant?

Depending upon the variety, an adult basil plant can grow anywhere from 30-60 cm in height. Space your basil plants 30-45 cm apart. If you only have room for a small container choose a variety of basil that will be happy staying at a smaller height.

How much basil can I pick from my plant?

We recommend never picking more than ¾ of your basil plant leaves off in one go. If you over harvest your plant it will not grow back properly, or worse you could end up killing your basil plant entirely. Make sure to only take what you need and allow time for it to grow back after a large harvest.

We hope our first set of home herb hacks help you improve your plant growing! 

Be sure to follow us on our social media or keep an eye out on our website for our next part of the home herb hacks series.