Growing basil from seed

marcella Image
08/05/2009 - 07:13

i've tried growing basil from seed both in London and here in Italy but I haven't been very sucessful. I'd love to grow it in abundance as it's one of my favourite herbs. I particularly like home-made pesto which needs loads. Here it would need to be in a pot on my balcony but in the UK I have a garden. Any experts in basil-growing like to share their tips please?


Basil is relatively easy to grow providing you have the right spot for it (sunny and frost free), you keep it well watered and you pinch the tops to encourage new growth. Do not allow it to bloom so that the leaves get all the strength. You can propagate it from seed, seedlings and even cuttings.

If you can´t get beyond the small seedlng stage, I would buy a mature next time. Transplant it into a large terracotta pot with good quality soil and choose a warm, sunny spot. Keep the soil moist and see how it goes. Keep on cutting the young shoots to try to make it as bushy as possible. And see how it goes. The location may be a problem, make sure that the plant gets at least 6 to 8 hours of full sunshine. And experiment during the warmer season. Basil hates cold weather!Good luck!

I find that if I cover the pot with clingfilm once I've sowed the seeds they really come on strong and fast, you need to make sure that it is kept moist and in a sunny spot to keep it warm but I've had lots of success this way and lots of lovely basil. The problem I have is with coriander, it struggles to appear and then is very straggly? Any suggestions?Hope this worksJo