Basil Seedlings: grow and plant correctly

Basil is a useful seasoning that gives the dishes a piquant taste and pleasant aroma. With the onset of the summer season, I want to get an early harvest of this valuable and tasty spice. With direct sowing in the soil, the harvest will have to wait a long time, since the basil is thermophilic, demanding on the nutritional value of the soil and the rules of agricultural technology. But if you grow it through seedlings, then it will not be difficult to achieve an early harvest of greenery.

Sowing basil seedlings

The seedling method of planting basil is an opportunity to get early greens and collect high-grade seed material for planting in the next season. Healthy and strong seedlings are the key to a good result, so when growing it, you need to pay attention to the timing of planting, as well as the conditions for its cultivation.

Step 1: determine the timing of landing

When determining the timing of sowing seeds, you need to focus on the possible timing of planting seedlings in open ground or a greenhouse. In a temperate climate zone, this is approximately the first decade of June. In regions with a warmer climate, seedlings can be planted in mid-May. By this time, the possibility of freezing frosts has passed, stable warm weather will be established, the soil will warm up sufficiently (up to + 10-15 degrees), and weather disasters will not threaten the basil plantings.

Useful information! In the southern regions, basil is most often planted with seeds directly in the ground, but in the northern regions a full crop can be obtained only through growing seedlings.

In order to accurately determine the timing of sowing, use the following scheme:

  1. For the reference point, we take the estimated date of transplanting seedlings to a permanent place. Let's say that for your area, the possible date is June 1.
  2. It takes 60 days from this date - the necessary seedling age before planting. We receive on April 2.
  3. Subtract another 2 weeks. This is the maximum time required for seeds to germinate. The received date is March 19th.
  4. If the seedlings will be grown with picking, that is, with transplanting from the total capacity into individual ones, then it is necessary to subtract another 4-5 days (the adaptation time of seedlings after picking). We get the date of sowing seeds - March 14.

When determining the timing of sowing, you must take into account the selected variety. Basil of medium-late and late ripening develops more slowly, so its seeds are planted a few days earlier. The sowing period of early and mid-early varieties must be shifted in the opposite direction. These plants grow faster and can outgrow in a specified time. This is extremely undesirable, because overgrown seedlings will take root for a long time.

Note! If basil cultivation is planned in the greenhouse, the sowing time for seedlings is shifted by two weeks, that is, at the beginning of March.

Step 2: prepare the containers

Any capacity is suitable for sowing basil seeds. When choosing, you should decide in advance whether you will grow seedlings with a pick of seedlings or without it. If you are planning a dive procedure, then for the initial seeding, you can choose boxes in which the seedlings will feel at ease, they will be easy to care for, they can be quickly moved to a new place or deploy the other side to the light.

When choosing landing tanks, keep in mind that their height should be at least 8 cm

When grown without picking, individual containers are preferred. In this case, the sowing of seeds can be made:

  • peat tablets, cassettes and pots;
  • paper honeycombs;
  • cartridges and trays made of PVC and polystyrene;
  • containers from improvised materials, etc.

Photo gallery: individual planting containers for growing seedlings

Peat tablets are one-off, as plants are planted in the soil directly in these containers

The disadvantage of seedling pots is that they take up a lot of space

Due to the small size of the containers, the soil in the trays and cassettes dries quickly, and if the plants are not watered on time, they may die

When planting seedlings grown in peat cups into the soil, it does not need to be removed from the planting containers

The main advantage of homemade containers is that they do not require any financial costs, are made from improvised material

Step 3: select and prepare the ground

In order to grow healthy, full-fledged seedlings, you should carefully consider the selection of soil. It should be light, nutritious, have good breathability. Do not fill containers with clay. Such soil is poorly breathable, quickly becomes dense and begins to squeeze tender roots. Under such conditions, seedlings can get sick, grow weak, poorly developed.

Here are a few options for a suitable soil mixture for growing basil seedlings:

  1. Humus, peat, sand in a ratio of 2: 4: 1.
  2. Garden land, peat, humus in equal shares.

You should not use very fertile soil: it is useless for germinating seeds, and it can also hurt - slow the emergence of seedlings and their growth, provoke diseases

It is recommended to steam the prepared soil mixture. Heat treatment will destroy weed seeds and pathogenic bacteria found in humus and garden soil.

Note! Nutrient mixes sold in specialized stores can be used. For its disinfection, a saturated solution of potassium permanganate or Fitosporin is used.

A mixed and disinfected soil mixture, if necessary, is shed with a nutrient composition. For this, urea, superphosphate and potassium sulfate (0.5 teaspoons each) are added to the settled water. After the fertilizer dissolves, moisten the prepared substrate with it. Such irrigation will make the soil more nutritious, provide the emerged seedlings with all the necessary elements.

Step 4: we process planting material

Basil seeds will be active only in the presence of heat and sunlight, because their natural habitat is the hot climate of India. Therefore, before landing, it is recommended to warm them up to a temperature of +40 degrees. This can be done on a sunny windowsill or on radiators. After warming up, it is recommended to soak the seeds for 24 hours in warm water (approximately +40 degrees), and then dry them a little.

Helpful advice! For soaking, you can use solutions of growth stimulants Zircon, Albit, etc.

Be prepared for soaking basil seeds

Important! High-quality, warmed and moisture-saturated seeds will sprout approximately 7–10 days after sowing.

Step 5: planting correctly

Sowing basil is absolutely simple. This procedure includes the following steps:

  1. A drainage layer of expanded clay or pebbles is laid at the bottom of the landing packaging. Its thickness should be 2-3 cm.
  2. The landing container is filled with prepared substrate so that at least 1 cm remains to the edges of the landing container.

    When filling the tank, consider that the moistened soil settles a little

  3. The soil is slightly compacted and moistened.

    It is recommended to water the soil before planting seeds

  4. Heated, moistened and slightly dried seeds are evenly laid out on the soil surface.

    So that the seedlings do not fight for a place in the sun, it is better to immediately spread the seeds at a distance of 2-3 cm from each other

  5. Sprinkle them on top with a soil mixture of about 0.5 cm. When planting several varieties, labels with names are set, so that you can then navigate in the varieties you like.

    Fill the cassettes with the remaining soil so that the basil seeds are at a depth of 0.5–1 cm

  6. Gently spray the ground (preferably from a spray bottle) so that the seeds are not washed to the surface. Do not use watering with a strong jet of water. It is fraught with the fact that the seeds along with water can go deep. Because of this, they will sprout for a long time or do not sprout at all.

    The best way to moisten the earth - spraying with a spray gun

  7. The containers are covered with film or glass and placed in a well-lit and warm place.

    As soon as the landing has been made, the container is covered with glass or a film of polyethylene to create a greenhouse effect

Video: basil seedlings in a snail

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Seedling Care

The optimum temperature for keeping boxes with planted seeds will be + 20–25 degrees. After emergence, the covering material is removed and the containers are placed in a room with a temperature of + 16–20 degrees. Under such conditions, the seedlings will not stretch.

After removing the film, the basil needs to be provided with regular and timely care.

It is necessary to provide shoots with a sufficient amount of light. Poor illumination will weaken and stretch the crops. Therefore, place containers with seedlings in well-lit places, protected from bright sunlight.

Note! Direct sunlight on young leaves can cause burns.


The topsoil in the landing tank must not dry out. Without moisture, small plants begin to wither, stop their growth. Waterlogging the soil also harms hatching seeds. It can cause the death of roots, their decay, the development of a disease such as a black leg.

Important! If during the inspection of seedlings you noticed that a dark constriction appeared in the lower part of the stem, and the root neck darkened - these are signs of a black leg disease. It is urgent to treat the seedlings with a solution of copper sulfate: 1 teaspoon of vitriol in 2 liters of warm water.

Seedlings of basil love when it is watered with well-maintained, warm (at least +22 degrees) water. Watering directly from the tap can lead to the death of roots. Watering the seedlings with caution, you need to try to moisten the earth, and not water the leaves. Moisture on the green parts of the plant can lead to the spread of fungal diseases.

Basil seedlings should be watered carefully, making sure that they do not fall

Useful information! There is a misconception that before transporting seedlings to the place of planting, it must be well watered. This is not true, because the juicy stems and leaves are more fragile, they are more likely to break, than slightly sagging.

Picking seedlings

Pickling seedlings is an optional process. If the seeds were sown in individual containers, or the sowing was carried out in a sufficiently large tray and seedlings are not thickened, then it is quite possible to do without picking. It is enough to thin out the seedlings and add soil to the container in order to strengthen the stems of the plants.

If necessary, picking is carried out in the phase of two of these leaves. The composition of the soil mixture may be the same as when sowing basil seeds. The pick is carried out as follows:

  1. Individual containers are filled with nutrient soil, slightly compact it.
  2. A small indentation is made in the center.
  3. The seedlings are watered so that it can be easily removed from the substrate and the seedlings are easily separated from each other.

    Basil seedlings are ready for picking in the phase of 2-3 true leaves

  4. Each seedling is lowered into a prepared hole. Depth of planting should be the same as that of seedlings.

    Basil seedlings do not form subordinate roots on the stem, so it is better to dive without deepening

  5. Sprouts sprinkled with earth.

    Each seedling of a basil dives in a separate container

  6. Watering carefully, preventing the seedlings from falling.

    Immediately after picking, plants are carefully watered

7-10 days after the picking, the seedlings can be fed with urea (1 teaspoon) and superphosphate (0.5 teaspoon) dissolved in water (1 liter). It is periodically recommended to pollinate the earth in containers with wood ash. It will not only provide seedlings with additional nutrition, but will also be an excellent prevention of fungal diseases.

Video: how to dive basil seedlings

Hardening basil seedlings

When growing basil seedlings, they try to create comfortable conditions for it. With a sharp change in the artificially created environment - for example, when transplanted into the open ground - the plant will experience stress, can recover for a long time, get sick. It is recommended to gradually accustom, prepare seedlings for a new mode of existence. For this, it is tempered. Hardening begins about 2 weeks before planting the plant in a permanent place. It is taken out into the fresh air or in a film greenhouse. The main condition: the temperature of the seedlings during hardening should be at least +5 degrees.

Important! The optimal hardening mode is to create a daytime temperature in the range of + 15-17 degrees, night temperature - + 12-15. During hardening, watering of seedlings is limited.

First, the plants are taken out to fresh air for no more than 2-3 hours, when the air temperature rises to the level necessary for basil

Transplanting seedlings in the open ground

Basil seedlings will be ready for planting in open ground at the age of 50-60 days. By this time, she should have at least 5 true leaves, be healthy and strong. When determining the timing of transplantation, you should be guided by the weather conditions: the danger of night frosts must pass and the soil warm up to a temperature of at least + 10 degrees. For landing, choose a sunny place, protected from the north wind, the site is thoroughly loosened and well seasoned with organic matter (1 bucket of rotted manure per square meter). The transplant is carried out as follows:

  1. Seedlings are transferred to the place prepared for planting.
  2. If it was grown in a plastic, wooden container, the seedlings are carefully removed, being careful not to damage the lump of land, mastered by the root system. Peat pots and tablets are planted with the plant.

    Basil seedlings are easy to extract from the cassette when the roots have fully mastered the earthen

  3. A well of at least 8 cm deep is prepared for each plant.
  4. Wells are placed at a distance from each other so that each bush has a sufficient feeding area. This indicator depends on the tallness of the variety. The planting pattern of low-growing plants can be 20x20 cm, while tall-growing plants can be no less than 40x20 cm.
  5. Each well is abundantly watered using about 1 liter of water.
  6. A plant in a peat pot or with a lump of earth is placed in the hole so that the young leaves and central bud remain above the surface of the earth.

    A bush of basil should be planted so that its main bud and leaves are located above the soil

  7. The hole is covered with earth and once again spilled with warm water.

Note! If the transplant is carried out in compliance with these rules, then in just a few days, the basil seedlings will enter into force and the bush will begin to grow actively.

Video: transplanting basil seedlings in the garden

Features of planting basil seedlings in a greenhouse

In protected ground, comfortable conditions for planting basil occur a few weeks earlier than in the open. The rules for transplanting basil into a greenhouse do not differ from planting in open ground. The main feature is that in unprotected soil, plants are most often planted with a line or a separate bed. In greenhouses and greenhouses, basil is used as a compacting plant between tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. For better growth and bushiness, it is recommended to pinch the top of the seedling. Subject to good soil nutrition, regular and plentiful watering, the crop will be early and high-quality.

In the conditions of the Moscow region, northwestern and northern regions, it is the cultivation in the greenhouse that will provide an early and abundant harvest of greenery

Basil compatibility with other plants

Basil belongs to companion plants, that is, to those spicy herbs that secrete specific substances that have beneficial effects on other crops: enhancing their growth, disinfecting air, repelling pests. Therefore, basil bushes are often used in joint plantings. Basil adjoins well with the following plants:

  • Tomatoes

    Basil improves the taste of tomatoes, and also repels many pests from tomatoes, including tomato horned worms

  • beans. Basil protects bean plantings from damage by bean kernels;
  • pepper and eggplant;

    Experienced gardeners claim that in planting basil + pepper, plants help each other

  • fruit trees. Phytoncides secreted by the plant limit the spread of pests and diseases;
  • in the aisles of cabbage, carrots and other vegetables;
  • salad, parsley and other aromatic herbs;

    Spicy herbs can be designed as a separate landscape object - a spice garden, which will become a fragrant decoration of the site

  • in almost all colors.

    When planting a basil in a flower garden, it is necessary to take into account the height and size of the jointly planted plants

The only plants whose neighborhood is not recommended for basil are the root, as well as cucumbers that do not like combined plantings with any aromatic herbs. Basil itself grows well after those crops under which a large number of organics were introduced: legumes, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, onions, cabbage and carrots, as well as siderates. Given the rules of crop rotation, you can not plant basil in one place for several years in a row. It is possible to return culture to its former place no earlier than in 4–5 years.

Given the huge number of advantages of basil, its benefits, including for garden crops, you should constantly have this plant in open beds and in greenhouses. It remains only to choose your favorite variety - and you can begin to plant it.


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