Fresh basil from your own cultivation trumps any purchased herb plant for length. Thanks to the sowing of basil seeds, home gardeners can control growth from scratch. The following instructions explain the entire workflow in a comprehensible and practical way.
The best date for sowing basil
At the beginning of April, the time window for sowing on the windowsill opens. The light conditions are bright enough for the seedlings not to wilt. If basil seeds are sown too early, the little plants will develop long horny shoots in the desperate search for every single ray of sunshine under the sparse daylight. In addition, they are perfectly mature within 4-6 weeks for relocation to the garden or balcony.
Instructions for sowing
The basil seeds you have harvested yourself or bought are ideally soaked in chamomile tea for a few hours before sowing. This increases the germ mood and prevents mold formation. Then proceed as follows:
- fill a seed tray or pot with potting soil, peat sand, perlite, or coconut fibers
- moisten the substrate with a fine shower
- then scatter the seeds to just press them as light germinators
- Pull a foil over the seed container or place a glass pane on it
- wait for the cotyledons at the semi-shady window seat at 20-25 degrees Celsius (59-77F)
- keep the basil seeds constantly moist
If the tender cotyledons break out of the seeds, the cover has done its duty. Continue to keep the seed slightly moist without causing waterlogging. During this phase, the little plants should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
How to prick basil seedlings correctly
From a growth height of 4-5 centimeters (2-3 inches), the seed pot is tight. High time to separate the seedlings. Since it will still be some time before planting out in mid-May, prick out the young plants in small pots.
Here they will develop their own root system over the next few days and weeks. How to proceed:
- Half fill 9 cm (4 inches) pots with pricking soil, peat growing medium or potting soil, and sand mixture
- make an indentation in it with the pricking stick
- lift a seedling out of the ground with a pricking stick or a spoon
- place in the hollow and surround with substrate up to the lower pair of leaves
- ideally, water the basil seedlings from below by placing the pots in 2-3 centimeters (0.7-1 inches) of water
Until the basil moves outdoors, care is limited to regular watering. From the beginning of May, it is advantageous to place the herbal plants on the balcony or in a sunny garden area during the day to harden them off.
After winter has passed, the plants spend the nights in the sheltered surroundings of the house or conservatory.