Stop worrying about the proper care of basil. Here you will find all the important answers for successfully cultivating basil in the garden and on the balcony.
What is the correct way to water basil?
A balanced water regime is one of the main pillars in the care of basil. The herbal plant can cope with drought just as little as waterlogging. Check the moisture content daily with a thumb test and pour immediately onto the root area when the substrate surface has dried. Ideally, place basil in a pot in 5 centimeters (2 inches) of water for a few minutes to water the plant from below.
To what extent should basil be fertilized?
In terms of nutrient requirements, basil is out of line, because the herb plant is one of the heavy consumers. This circumstance already has an effect on the choice of soil in the bed and pot. Instead of poor herbal soil, basil requires a nutrient-rich, humus-rich substrate. It is fertilized in the following rhythm:
- fertilize in the bed from May to September every week with compost and horn shavings
- Work 100 grams of granulated cattle manure per square meter into the soil every 14 days
- Caring for basil in the bucket with organic liquid fertilizer
- Optionally use guano fertilizer sticks in May and July with a long-term effect
If you are planting basil in pre-fertilized soil, give the first dose of fertilizer after 4-6 weeks.
Does basil need pruning?
Basil is cut for several reasons. Primarily for harvesting the aromatic leaves. In addition, to elicit lush branching. Last but not least, regular pruning prevents flowering, which causes a bitter taste and heralds the end of the plant. How to properly cut royal cabbage:
- pinch off the plant from an early age to encourage bushy growth
- always cut whole shoots with a length of 5-7 centimeters (2-3 inches) for the harvest
- Cut back branches with forming buds to the nearest leaf axil
As long as at least one pair of eyes remains on the plant, the basil will sprout again here.
Diseases that affect Basil
Since basil is not native here, the plant reacts sensitively to neglect in care and is susceptible to various diseases. The most common signs of damage include brown or blotchy leaves. Check whether you are caring for the basil properly. A cold, dark location or wet substrate often causes brown spots. One of these two diseases may be behind it:
Leaf spot disease
This fungal infection primarily affects weakened plants or is triggered by already infected seeds. Remove all affected parts of the plant and dispose of them in the household waste.
So far, only chemical broad-spectrum fungicides are known as control agents, the use of which on food plants is not recommended. Take good care of the affected plant. Unless she recovers, she should be discarded.
Alfalfa Mosaic Virus
This widespread virus causes leaf blanching and vein yellowing, which causes all foliage to die off. Carriers are often aphids or weeds. As an effective way to combat the lice, take action and weed consistently from the day of planting.
Which pests can be expected?
Basil is not spared from voracious snails. In addition, the omnipresent aphids infest the herbal plant, bringing with them the aforementioned lucerne mosaic virus. If a large butterfly flutters around the basil at night, it is probably the sorrel owl. This moth prefers to lay its eggs on basil so that its caterpillars feed on the leaves.
If the shoot tips appear crippled and sucked out, the meadow bug is up to mischief. At the best basil time in May and June, she lays her eggs and the larvae suck the plant sap.
Don’t throw away coffee grounds. When dried, it works wonders on basil. Scattered around the plant from May to September, the ground coffee supplies it with important nitrogen. At the same time, caffeine has a toxic effect on gluttonous snails.