The aroma of fresh basil grown at home can’t be topped. The herb plant develops its optimum outdoors in the fresh air, caressed by warm rays of sunshine. Here we tell you how to plant your basil outdoors.
How to Plant Basil Outdoors
Temperatures below 60 °F (16 °C) do not do justice to the sunny disposition of basil. Only when the temperatures are above that should the basil relocate outside.
An ideal location is sunny, warm, and protected. Put a homegrown or ready-bought basil plant in the ground like this:
- The ideal soil is humus, rich in nutrients and freshly moist.
- Dig a pit with twice the volume of the root ball.
- Drainage at the bottom prevents harmful waterlogging.
- Enrich the excavation with compost, horn chips and sand.
- Fill in a layer of substrate, plant the potted basil and water it.
Place the young plant in the soil exactly as deep as it has been in the pot. A mulch layer of compost or bark mulch will keep the soil moist and warm longer.
Always water the basil when the soil surface has dried. Fertilize your basil for the first time no earlier than 4-6 weeks after planting.
Protect Basil from Cold Outside
In a pot, basil can be out in the fresh air as early as April, as long as it is in a sheltered location on the balcony.
During the day, the herb plant refuels valuable solar heat to move inside at night. From mid-May, the danger of late frosts on the ground is averted, so basil in the tub can linger outdoors continuously.
Sometimes in a year the cold even strikes in early to mid-June. In this case, protect planted basil with a warming fleece, because the temperature should not fall below 50 °F (10 °C).
Potted plants on the balcony are usually not at risk because of their proximity to the house.
Should I Remove the Flowers from My Basil?
As pretty as the white-lipped flowers on basil are to look at, they inevitably herald the end of the herb plant.
Therefore, watch out for buds every time you harvest or water your basil and remove them immediately. The reward for this prudence is an even longer enjoyment of the crisp, fresh spice leaves.