Basil is a warm-weather, fragrant herb that tastes great in many dishes—including the beloved homemade pesto!
Preparing for your journey
- Collect yourself. Bring your kit into focus and familiarize yourself with its contents.
- Pick a good location. Basil will grow best in a location that gets 6 to 8 hours of full sun daily, though it can perform well in partial sun, too.
- If you’re planning on cooking with these plants, plant them in clean soil, use organic fertilizers, don’t use insecticides, and grow them away from driveways and busy streets so that exhaust won’t settle on the plants.
How to plant basil
- Sow the seeds. Lay the seeds on the soil bed and cover. Plant at least 5 seeds about ¼-inch deep into a single pot.
- Keep it moist. Leaving the pot completely open will allow to much heat to enter and moisture to escape, causing fewer seeds or no seeds to germinate. To prevent this, use a clear plastic bag or wrap, spray the inside with water, and use it to cover the pot. Secure it with a rubber band so the seeds can properly germinate. When your seeds germinate, remove the plastic bag.
- Our Signature Potting Mix is designed to retain moisture, but you must still water your plant at least twice a day. During the dry seasons, you may water your basil freely.
- Make sure the water reaches the roots! Place a tray or saucer under your pot so you can water your plant without spillage.
- Thin your seedlings. Give each plant room to grow. Remove plants that are growing too close together, leaving one plant left to grow in a single pot. You may discard the others or you may transplant them to another pot. Note that transplanting them may damage the roots of the plant, lowering its survival rate.
- Only perform thinning after the emergency of true leaves (the 4th leaf).
- Trim your plant. After the seedling has produced their first 6 leaves, trim to above the 2nd set of branches. This encourages the plants to start branching, resulting in more leaves for harvest.
- Every time a single branch has 6-8 leaves, repeat pruning the branches back to their 1st set of leaves.
- After about 6 weeks, pinch off the center shoot to prevent early flowering.
- If flowers buds grow, remove them. They create a hormone change that will reduce the flavor of the leaves. This is called bolting.
Feeding your basil
- Fertilize your plant. Fertilizers help your plant fight harmful pathogens and become its best self. When your basil seeds germinate or sprout in about 7 to 10 days, use Morning Miracle and Bloom Serum.
- Bury 1 Morning Miracle caplet in the soil close to your seedlings twice a week. Be careful not to destroy their roots.
- Apply 5 drops of Bloom Serum on your plant twice a week. You may drop the serum on the leaves and flowers to ensure healthy growth.
- Water your plant generously after dosages of Morning Miracle and Bloom Serum. Our signature fertilizers are highly concentrated!
Tip: Our signature plant food are rich with live micro-organisms. Store them in a cool dark, and dry area. Read more about our signature plant food here!
How to harvest basil
- The best thing about a plant is that it's a gift that keeps on giving. Start picking the leaves of basil as soon as the plants are 6 to 8 inches tall.
- Harvest in the early morning, when leaves are at their juiciest.
- Make sure to pick the leaves regularly to encourage growth. Even if you don’t need the leaves, pick them to keep the plant going. Store them for later use!
- If you pick regularly, twelve basil plants can produce 4 to 6 cups of leaves per week.
How to store basil
- The best method for storing basil is freezing. Freezing will prevent the plant from losing a good portion of its flavor. To quick-freeze basil, package whole or chopped leaves in airtight, resealable plastic bags, then place in the freezer.
- Another storage method is drying the basil (although some of the flavor will be lost). Pinch off the leaves at the stem and place them in a well-ventilated and shady area. After 3 to 4 days, if the plants are not completely dry, place them in the baking oven on the lowest heat setting with the door slightly open. Remember to turn the leaves (for equal drying) and check them frequently.
The journey of planting is best enjoyed with others. Teach your family and friends. Let them taste your harvest.