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Trim a basil plant every two to three weeks and pinch off the flower buds as soon as you see them. Pinching Flowers Prevents Seed Formation. Seed can be harvested from your basil and saved for next season, or bought in packets. This will help the plant to grow bushy. Wait until the evening to give the seedlings a good chance to adjust. I make sure to water the soil first because you will only need around 1/4 inch to cover the seeds. You can pinch off individual leaves or take the tops off of a large plant if you need a large amount. Now that you know how to grow sweet basil successfully, it’s important to know how you can use it. Step Two: Pinch the flowers off the stem. Basil is a half-hardy annual, so new plants will be needed each year. Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors from seed. 8. A tomato plant (center) growing alongside basil. The plants were 8-10 inches tall; I reduced their height by half. Since basil is an annual, it grows very quickly. Plants should be spaced approximately 30 cm (12 in) apart, allowing 45 cm (18 in) between rows. Spacing is key as you want to give each seed a fighting chance. 9. However, in autumn, when temperatures start to dip, bring a few plants back indoors to provide a fresh supply of leaves in winter. When growing basil outdoors in the garden, in ideal growing conditions, basil plants can be productive for 6 months or longer. If you water once you have that fine covering it can move the seeds. Oregano and thyme do best when pinched or cut back to about half their length. Sprouting from seed, producing an abundance of fresh leaves, then flowering and going to seed all over the course of a few months. How To Propagate Basil From Seeds. RTalloni on April 30, 2012: Thanks much for this look at pinching plants. Plants will grow fast in containers, so expect to pot them up a few times during the growing season. Continue Reading Below When a plant grows, there are various hormones that control its growth and the manner it grows. Tiny basil seeds are sprouted in potting soil until they grow a few inches high and produce a few tiny little leaves. Pinch leaves from the tips of the stems as needed starting 60-90 days after the seedlings have two sets of leaves. Pinch basil shoots again when they have added another 6 inches of growth. Be sure to pinch off blooms to prevent your plant from going to seed. Growing basil from seed . Some basil plants flower quicker than others, and there’s great variety in the way the flowers look. Basil is ready to start harvesting in about 60 to 90 days from seeding. Have you ever bought a beautiful little basil seedling from your local nursery, only to have it quickly turn scraggly, tall, woody, and sparse? Basil makes a … Mulch your basil plants to retain moisture after the soil has warmed. I might even allow just one or two branches to set seed and continue to pinch … This post may contain affiliate links. MobyWho from Burlington VT on April 06, 2012: Don't waste the pinched basil - dry it or make herbed salts, etc. Aphids: Look for colonies of greenfly on the soft All varieties of Basil are bushy plants and grow better when they are cut back frequently. Growing basil microgreens is a fun (and yummy) container gardening project to do at home. Feel free to pinch 2 leaves from the tips. Frequent pinching can keep rosemary and lavender to a manageable size during their spring growth spurt and supply you with lots of herbs for cooking. After a month and a half, after the basil seedlings have risen, 4-6 true leaves will appear on the sprouts. These flowers are pretty, but they are also a sign that the plant is shutting down and going into reproduction mode — instead of growth mode, which would shoot out the necessary basil leaves for my pesto cravings. Basil seeds need to have at least 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day – so plan on starting your basil during the late spring or early summer. Tomatoes make great neighbors for basil plants in the garden—and on the plate! As the plants keep sending out new branching stems, continue to pinch … Basil, tarragon, thyme, sage, scented geraniums and marigolds respond well to pinching. Basil plants need consistent soil moisture to yield well. Plant seeds/seedlings about ¼-inch deep and 10 to 12 inches apart. One of the most important requirements for growing basil from seeds is sunlight. I have another variety that sends up delicate white flowers. I often start letting a few plants bloom in mid-August to be sure of harvesting seeds before frost turns the plants to black mush. Once they are reach 6-8 inches tall, pinch the central stem back by half and about ¼ inch above the leaf axils. When growing in pots, rotate your pot by 90˚ once a week to keep your plant nice and evenly bushy. Pinch basil plants when they're 4 to 6 inches tall, removing the center set of leaves at the growing tip. When you see flowers starting to grow, pinch them off immediately because they will hinder or stop new leaves from growing and can also alter the flavor of the existing leaves, making them bitter. Rather than one single stalk, you get several areas where flowers will begin to produce rather than just one large cola. Because basil seeds are so tiny, this step is the most tedious. If you are growing basil in pots, the basil plant will last around 4 months. Pinching is a must for lush basil plants. You can add a weak fertilizer solution for an added boost of nutrition. Spritz the top of the compost with warm water and cover the basil seedlings. Pinching or cutting back basil plants regularly encourages full, bushy plants. Basil will happily grow in both pots and the garden. If you grow your basil indoors, the best place it by a sunny kitchen window or an east-facing window. 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