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Basil is considered one of the favorite and common herbs. This annual plant is rich in vitamins and essential oils and has a special spicy aroma.
Until recently, basil was a rare crop in the beds of Russians, but in recent years its popularity has been growing, and many gardeners are trying to breed this spicy plant in their area.
In the article, we will talk about the agricultural technology of growing in the open field, whether the spice is afraid of frost in the spring and how long it grows.
When to plant seeds and seedlings in central Russia, Moscow region, Siberia, in the Urals?
In Russia, the beginning of June is considered a suitable time for planting basil seedlings in open ground., when the threat of frost has already passed, since the spring temperature drop can destroy the culture.
Basil seeds are sown in open ground in April-May, but given that this is a thermophilic culture, it is preferable to plant the spice in the garden in the form of seedlings.
The choice of the method and time for planting basil depends on the region in which the plant will be grown - in the Moscow region, in the Urals or Siberia. It all depends on the climate of the region, as well as on how early you want to get the first harvest from the garden.
Learn more about the timing of basil cultivation here.
How to prepare the soil correctly?
In order for basil cultivation to be successful, it is necessary to prepare the right soil. It should be loose and light, nutritious and breathable at the same time. Suitable seedling soil can be purchased at the store or you can make it yourself.
There are several options for preparing an earthy mixture for growing basil.
- two parts of rotted compost or humus;
- four parts of peat;
- one piece of sand.
You can also mix peat, soil from the garden and humus in equal parts. Sift the mixture, remove all lumps and disinfect in a water bath or in an oven for an hour. This will help rid the earthen mixture of potential pests and fungal diseases.
Reference! Moisture should not be allowed to stagnate - this can lead to root rot, therefore, when growing seedlings, you should take care of good drainage.
Planting in open ground in the country in the spring
Basil bed should be located in a sunny areaas the plant loves light. The site should be prepared in advance:
- dig up;
- add 2 kg of humus and peat to 1 square meter of beds.
The spice tends to grow strongly, so the grains are laid out on the garden bed in two pieces at a distance of 5 cm.If all the seeds sprout, then the stronger ones are left, and the weak ones are removed. In order for the basil to rise faster, it is advisable to cover the bed with foil. When shoots appear, the film is removed.
Before planting basil, it is recommended to hold the seeds in any growth stimulator. It can be the drug "Zircon" or "Epicon", which is diluted with water, as it is written on the package. How to prepare basil seeds before planting and why you can do it can be found in this article.
In the northern regions, sowing seeds directly into the ground is not recommended., since due to the sharp changes in air temperature, the harvest of basil can not be expected.
We talked more about where it is better to plant basil and what kind of soil it likes in the garden, we talked about in a hotel article, and from this article you will learn about the nuances of planting a vegetable in open ground.
- For growing future seedlings, wooden boxes are best suited. The prepared container is filled with a special soil, which it is advisable to sprinkle with a planting solution consisting of potassium sulfate, potassium chloride, urea, superphosphate and water (0.5 teaspoon of each component per 5 liters of water).
- To get good shoots, it is necessary to sow basil for seedlings in a heated, fertilized and moist soil. Plant seeds are sown over the surface and sprinkled with a small layer of soil. The boxes must be covered with plastic wrap or glass and placed in a warm and well-lit place where the air temperature does not drop below 20 degrees. As the topsoil dries up, it must be moistened.
- The next stage is picking. They approach it when the seedlings have two leaves each. You can thin out the seedlings in the box, leaving a distance of 2-3 cm between them, but in order to preserve all the planting material, it is better to transplant into separate containers.
- Containers with basil sprouts are placed in a well-lit place for 2-3 weeks, regularly moistening the substrate. If the air temperature warms up to 10-15 degrees, then after two weeks the grown seedlings can be planted on a garden bed at a distance of 20 cm from each other, pinching each sprout over 7-8 leaves so that the plant bush.
We suggest watching a video about the rules for sowing basil:
How to care?
In the greenhouse
Basil grows remarkably in garden beds, in pots, but growing spices in a greenhouse has several advantages:
- basil grows faster, as it is protected from temperature extremes and pests;
- the ability to have a harvest at any time of the year;
- the plant is perfectly adjacent to other vegetable crops.
For the cultivation of basil, heated greenhouses are used, as well as light greenhouses without heating.
For cultivation in a greenhouse, varieties are suitable:
- Thai queen;
- Moulin rouge;
Now let's consider whether it is possible to grow at home. There are several ways to grow basil at home. One of them is transplanting an adult plant from a garden bed into a pot. This method is suitable for those who grow the spice in the garden. For transplanting into a pot, young non-flowering bushes are suitable, which must be carefully dug up and, together with an earthen lump, transplanted into a flower pot.
Basil can be grown by cuttings. Young shoots from an adult plant are suitable for cuttings, which are cut and placed in a container with water. After the roots appear, the cutting is transplanted into a pot with soil. In this case, the spice can be enjoyed for 3-4 months.
Important! Growing basil at home from seed will take longer than propagating by cuttings. It will be possible to harvest the first crop not earlier than in six months.
Further on the photo you can see how the spice grows:
Care and dealing with problems
Caring for basil is simple and consists in the fact that the garden with it must be regularly broken through from weeds, loosened the ground and watered often. The spice grows slowly for the first month. The greens are cut before flowering, at this time the basil takes on its maximum aroma and taste.
How to deal with pests and diseases?
Basil is a very hardy plant, but at high humidity and low temperatures, fungal diseases can develop on it:
- gray rot.
The best fight against these diseases is their prevention. In order to avoid the listed problems, you must:
- soak the seeds before sowing in a slightly pink solution of potassium permanganate;
- do not plant basil too close to each other;
- sprinkle the bed with wood ash once a week;
- water the plant in moderation, but do not allow the soil to dry out;
- loosen the ground;
- ventilate the room if it is a greenhouse or greenhouse;
- remove the diseased plant together with the earthy clod.
At the initial stage of the disease, basil can be sprayed with onion peel infusion. (1 part husk to 4 parts water). The solution is infused for a day, then filtered. Basil is resistant to pests, but young shoots can be damaged by aphids, slugs, snails, and field bugs. However, this is rare and these pests do not cause serious damage to the crop. Pests are removed into plants by hand.
What if it develops slowly?
Basil can grow slowly for several reasons:
- overdried soil and air;
- low air temperature (below 20 degrees);
- short daylight hours;
- lack of fertilizers.
Secrets of a good harvest
When to collect?
The first shoots appear 10-15 days after sowing. After a month and a half, when the plant has 4-6 leaves, you can pinch off the tops with two leaves, thus collecting the first harvest. This will encourage the plant to branch out and form a fluffy bush. If you need several leaves for the salad, it is advisable to pinch off the oldest side leaves from the main stem.
For more information on when to start harvesting basil and how to do it, read here.
In order for basil to actively develop and give a good harvest, you must follow a few simple rules:
- to clear the bed of weeds;
- loosen the ground often;
- water at least 10 times during the growing season;
- for the first time keep the plants under the film;
- cut the peduncles.
Reference! It must be remembered that when cutting off the top of the plant, 4 leaves should be left from below. Cutting off only the lower shoots from the basil, provokes the growth of the spice in height.
Basil not only infuses dishes with a special aroma, but is also a very useful plant from which you can make tea. Basil infusion has antipyretic, bactericidal properties, improves digestion. You can use the spice in any form: fresh, dried, frozen.