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Growing Basil

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
T                 S T T

(Best months for growing Basil in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 64°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 10 inches apart
  • Harvest in 10-12 weeks. Pick before flowering.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Tomato
  • A Basil plant
    A Basil plant
  • Basil flower
    Basil flower

A frost tender low-growing herb. Basil is a culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine, and also plays a major role in the Southeast Asian cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. The plant tastes somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent sweet smell. There are many varieties including, thai, purple ruffles and lemon.

Can be grown inside in pots in winter. As the plant develops, pinch out the top to encourage bushy growth. Pick off flowers to encourage more growth.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Basil

Basil is commonly used fresh in cooked recipes. It is generally added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavour. Tear rather than chop.
The fresh herb can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer, after being blanched quickly in boiling water.

Your comments and tips

07 Jul 18, LD (Australia - arid climate)
My Basil is being invaded by caterpillars. How can I get rid of them?
24 May 18, Margaret (Australia - temperate climate)
Can you get a basil that grows in winter I get morning and northern sun my other herbs are growing great
25 May 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I was given a basil plant yesterday - from up north Queensland. He said it flowered in the late winter - spring. Growing it for bee attraction. Will ask what it is called tomorrow.
24 May 18, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Basil is frost-tender and needs lots of sunlight
08 Apr 18, Dale (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have just pulled out about 10 basil plants ( lots of seedlings coming up) because I am so sick and tired of the cloud of grasshoppers taking residence in our veggie patch and eating the basil... Basil is one of my favorite herbs ,but these grasshoppers are really owning my patch...any advise would be much appreciated.
09 Apr 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Try shade cloth or mossy netting over them for a few weeks.
10 Apr 18, Dale (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Thanks Mike for the hint. I spotted an unusual roll of shade cloth at Bunnings, and it was very closely woven- I think it was a beige colour. But I got confused with all the price tags and descriptions that I just gave it a miss.(looks expensive) What is mossy netting and where do you buy it? Blessings to you on this fine day.
20 Apr 18, Carol (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
If you'd like to save money then go to an op-shop and pick up some net curtains. They're easy to find and will be very cheap. That will let the sun and air in but keep the bugs out
12 Apr 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Mossy netting is mosquito netting - in the old days you hung this over your bed to keep the mosquitos out. They sell it at Spotlight - about $7/mr. What width I don't know. 70% shade cloth at Bunnings is approx. $5-7/mtr - that is 1.83m x 1mtr. It has multi uses in gardening.
06 Apr 18, Charlene (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted Basil seeds 19 Feb they come up lovely, but 5wks later they are still 3cm tall. They get plenty of sun and enough water why arent they growing anymore.
Showing 1 - 10 of 89 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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