Fragrant and refreshing basil - grown on the windowsill

Among a large number of spicy herbs, it is basil that is great for growing at home. In addition to goodness, aroma and good looks, this plant is selected for pot planting due to the fact that it can grow in winter and summer, as well as completely unpretentious care. Even if you have never grown greens on the windowsill, you can easily get a decent crop of aromatic seasonings by starting your experiments with basil.

Varieties of basil for home growing

Varieties of basil are great. In addition to the common green leaf, there is purple and brown basil. There are varieties with large and small leaves, various shades of aroma.

For home growing, small-leaved, low (up to 0.5 m) varieties growing in compact bushes are optimal.

Small-leaved and undersized basil varieties grow especially quickly and easily at home.

The state register of breeding recommends two varieties that are most suitable for pot growing:

  • Basilisk. The advantage of this variety is early ripeness and compactness. A low plant (up to 20 cm) has a large number of small leaves with clove-pepper aroma;

    Basilisk Basilisk is recommended for fresh use, as a spice-flavoring additive in home cooking, in dried form and for canning

  • Marquis. A compact spherical bush can grow up to 25 cm in height. The aroma of the leaves is clove pepper.

    Green leaves and dried seasoning from the Marquise basil goes well with cheeses, mushrooms, beans, eggplant

If you have experience at home, you can grow any kind of this spice. Please note that the Greek small-leaved, as well as purple varieties grow harder and longer.

Conditions and methods for growing basil at home

Basil is a warm and photophilous plant, therefore the following conditions are necessary for its development and growth:

  • comfortable air temperature in the region + 20-25 degrees;
  • long daylight hours. When planting a plant in the winter months, it will need to be illuminated with fluorescent lamps;
  • fertile soil;
  • systematic watering and spraying.

Basil can be grown at home year-round, but its increased sensitivity to heat and light will require additional efforts in the autumn-winter period.

At home, you can get basil greens in three ways:

  1. Transplanting an adult plant from open ground into a pot. If at the end of the summer season you still have basil plants that did not bloom in the garden, you can dig them out and, together with a lump of land, transplant them into a suitable container. Such a plant will bloom quickly, but for a while you can use fragrant leaves. In addition, an adult plant is ideal for obtaining cuttings for growing new basil bushes.
  2. Having grown a plant from cuttings. The method allows you to quickly enough (after two to three weeks) to get young herbs. Such a basil bush will serve you for about three to four months.
  3. Sowing seeds. A plant grown in this way will need much more time to form a bush, but it will also be much longer to provide fresh fragrant herbs than basil grown differently.

Growing basil from seeds

Basil seeds are available in specialized stores. This is the most appropriate option when planning the cultivation of several bushes of the plant. If in your summer cottage basil grew, which suited you in all respects, then it is quite possible to collect its seeds yourself. It should be noted that only those plants that you planted through seedlings will give full-fledged and high-quality seeds: with direct planting in the soil in a temperate climatic zone, the seeds of this spice do not have time to ripen. Seeds are harvested in dry weather when the bracts dry out and darken:

  1. The dried flower stalk is cut from the plant and placed in a darkened, well-ventilated room for ripening.
  2. After drying, the seeds themselves spill out of the boxes. They must be cleaned of debris and dried additionally.

Ripe basil seeds should be black

Germination of basil seeds lasts for 4–5 years.

Preparing planting material

Basil came to us from countries with a hot climate, so its seeds will be active only if there is enough heat and light. When planting with unprepared seeds, it will take a very long time to wait for seedlings, so it is recommended to warm the planting material. This is best done in the sun or radiators. It is important that the seeds are warmed to a temperature of +40 degrees. Accelerates seedlings and soaking seeds, in which they are saturated with moisture. Soaking is carried out in warm water corresponding to the heating temperature (+40 degrees). After this procedure, the seeds are slightly dried.

Please note that when soaked, the basil seeds mucilage.

In the water for soaking, you can add drugs that stimulate growth: Zircon, Albit, etc.

Basil sprouts from the seeds warmed up and moistened with moisture will appear on the 7-10th day after planting.

Capacities for landing

Before choosing planting containers, you need to decide how you will grow basil - with or without picking. If you plan to transplant seedlings, then the initial container may be shallow plastic cups, ordinary cassettes or trays for seedlings. When growing without picking, immediately select tall and spacious containers, for example, liter pots, in which the roots of the plant will feel free and comfortable. Since the grown greens are most often located on the kitchen windowsill, it is useful to consider how the landing containers fit into the interior, will there be enough space for a convenient arrangement of all the pots.

The options for the subsequent placement of pots with seedlings in hinged pots and hanging shelves located in the window aperture are quite acceptable. They will become a bright decoration of the interior, solve the often arising problem of lack of space.

Photo gallery: ideas for planting basil and other herbs in the kitchen

Buckets with plants will look beautiful on rails or hooks in the window opening

Greens can be planted in ordinary glass jars of the appropriate volume

Well-chosen landing tanks can create additional comfort in your kitchen

Greens can be grown in ceramic, plastic or metal containers

Hanging containers and flowerpots will save space on the windowsill

When placing shelves, please note that plants need a lot of natural light

Basil planting soil

One of the conditions for the successful cultivation of basil is a light, fertile soil with good moisture and air permeability. Suitable soil can be formed by mixing the following components:

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  • humus + coconut fiber in a ratio of 1: 2;
  • fertile soil + compost in equal parts;
  • humus (1 part) + peat (2 parts).

In order to protect future seedlings from pests and diseases, it is recommended to warm the soil. This can be done on a baking sheet in the oven. The soil is calcined at a temperature of + 100-120 degrees for an hour. To increase the nutritional value, the prepared mixture should be shed with a solution of mineral fertilizers: urea, potassium sulfate and superphosphate (1/8 teaspoon of each ingredient) are taken per 1 liter of water.

The sowing tank is filled with the prepared mixture, slightly compacted and watered

Before filling the containers, a two-centimeter drainage layer of expanded clay, pebbles, polystyrene or broken brick is laid at the bottom. On top of it, prepared soil is poured, not reaching 3-4 cm to the edges, watered abundantly.

Sowing seeds

After the seeds and planting capacity are prepared, you can start sowing. It is completely standard, but when carrying out it is necessary to consider the following features:

  • the seeds are laid out on moist soil, and then sprinkled with a centimeter layer of soil. With a deeper sowing, the plants will sprout for a long time, and a small planting will increase the likelihood of leaching and possible death of seeds;
  • 3-4 plants will feel comfortable in a flower pot. When grown without picking, you can sow a little more seeds, subsequently removing weaker seedlings;
  • when sowing in trays, seeds are placed at a distance of 2-3 cm;
  • after sowing the seeds, the containers are covered with polyethylene, glass or a plastic cap, which is removed only after emergence;
  • until the first sprouts appear, the pots can be kept in any warm room, without worrying about lighting. Light at this stage is not important to the seeds;
  • watering is carried out only as the topsoil dries up;
  • after emergence, the covering material is removed, the container is transferred to a well-lit place, if necessary, shoots are thinned out.

It is convenient to spread small basil seeds on the soil surface with tweezers

If the seeds were planted immediately in a spacious pot, then after the sprouts reach a five-centimeter height, soil is added to the tank, which will strengthen the young shoot.

Pick

Sprouts that have sprouted in small seedling containers will need a pick. Spend it in the phase of 1-2 pairs of true leaves. The soil for transplantation can be used the same as for sowing seeds. The seedlings are dug out carefully, without covering the ground from the roots, and immediately place them in small holes in the main tank.

Seedlings with a plastic knife or other device get out of the total capacity, trying not to damage the roots

Important condition! Since basil seedlings do not form subordinate roots on the stem, they are dived without deepening, that is, the depth of planting should be the same as that of seedlings.

After picking, the seedlings must be watered, if necessary, align the rickety plants. Basil seedlings will need about a week to adapt to new conditions and again grow.

Basil Care

Pots with plants should be in a well-lit place. From March to August, natural light will be quite enough for him, and in late autumn and winter, the growing basil will need additional illumination. In order for all the leaves to receive a sufficient amount of light, it is recommended to periodically turn them on the windowsill. Potted soil should be kept in a moderately moist state. In summer, you can water and spray the basil daily, in winter, watering is carried out twice a week. More frequent watering can lead to waterlogging of the soil and rotting of the roots.

Watering is carried out with water at room temperature, and after the procedure, the soil must be loosened shallow to ensure the flow of oxygen needed by the roots of the plant.

In order for the basil to grow, cluster and branch, on your windowsill the air temperature should not be lower than 20 ° С (and even better 25 ° С), and the sun should shine for at least 3-4 hours a day

The air temperature in the room where the aromatic seasoning is growing should be quite high - not lower than +20 degrees. Drafts have a negative effect on the plant. If strong blowing is felt on the windowsill, then the plant should be protected by wrapping the pots with a transparent plastic film. In order for home basil to please you with its aroma and herbs for a long time, it must be fertilized. Analyzing the experience of indoor growing a plant, we can recommend organic top dressing with biohumus or Agrolife (according to the instructions). The number of top dressings should not exceed 2 per month.

Organic fertilizers contribute to the saturation of crops with nutrients, which are presented in a balanced ratio

If you decide to use mineral fertilizers, then pay attention to the fact that you should opt for specialized mixtures for basil, and do not use compounds intended for other crops.

Video: harvest on the windowsill - grow basil from seeds

Growing basil from cuttings

A quick and fairly simple way to get basil greens is growing from cuttings:

  1. An adult plant purchased in a market or in a store grown in a summer cottage is quite suitable. The top or side shoot is cut off from him. Sections can be treated with a root stimulant or ash.
  2. Cuttings are placed in a container with water.

    It is recommended to change the water in containers with cuttings daily

  3. After 7-10 days, the cut shoots will take root.

    Strong roots grow in basil stalk in water in 1-2 weeks

  4. Now the cuttings can be planted in spacious containers with light and loose soil.

The care for the basil planted from the cuttings is the same as for the plant grown from seeds. The first crop of green leaves can be cut in about 2-3 weeks.

Basil pruning and harvesting

You can cut basil leaves no earlier than after the appearance of 6 real leaves on the plant. If you do it right, the bush will branch, the amount of greenery on it will increase rapidly. Here are some tips for high-quality and stimulating pruning basil:

  • basil leaves and stem are recommended to be cut with a sharp tool;
  • a simple clipping of leaves from the stem will lead to the fact that the plant is exposed and can dry out;
  • after 3 pairs of true leaves appear, it is recommended to pinch the top of the plant by cutting the stem above the last young leaves that begin to grow from the sinuses. The pinching procedure is repeated as soon as new processes appear in the sinuses. Such a pinch will stimulate the development of the bush in breadth, make it more productive;
  • if you need to pick a few basil leaves to add them to the cooking dish, select the older side leaves and cut them just above the junction with the main stem. Such pruning will also contribute to the emergence of new shoots;
  • the four lowest leaves on the plant must be left. If this is not done, then the basil will begin to grow in height, will become less productive;
  • the appeared peduncle must be removed immediately. Cut it with a couple of leaves under it. The fact is that in the flowering phase, the aroma and juiciness of the leaves are lost. A flower stalk is left only if you want to collect spice seeds;
  • if you need a large amount of greenery, it is recommended to cut off the entire stem, leaving 2 pairs of lower leaves. New juicy leaves will soon appear from their sinuses, the plant will rejuvenate and will delight you with aroma and fresh herbs for a long time to come.

Gathering the necessary amount of green basil, remember the correct formation of the bush and combine harvesting and pruning

If you have the desire and the need to always have at hand the fragrant and fresh herbs of the basil, while being absolutely confident in its quality, create a home mini-garden. Provide the culture with the necessary conditions, a little bit of attention and you will surely achieve excellent results.

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