CULTURAL TIP: As with many of our easy-to-grow herbs, basils can be seeded directly into your garden in early through mid-summer. They grow quickly and yield well when seeded thickly into moderately rich, moist soil in full sun.
DAYS TO GERMINATION:
5-10 days at 65-70°F (18-21°C).
Direct seed (recommended): Plant seeds 1/4" deep, 2-3 seeds per inch, in rows 18" apart. Firm the soil over the seeds. Thinning is not necessary, but a final spacing of 4-8" apart produces healthy, full plants. Note: Holy Basil requires some light for germination, so sow more shallowly than other basils. Transplant: Sow indoors 6 weeks prior to setting out. Plant 1/4" deep and keep at 70°F (21°C) for best germination. Transplant to the field when seedlings have 3-4 sets of leaves, spacing at 4-8" apart in rows 18" apart.
Moderately rich, moist soil. Basil is not drought tolerant and can be damaged by heat stress. Regular moisture throughout the growing season helps to ensure a good crop.
Begin light harvesting after plants have become established. It is best done in the early morning when the temperature is cooler and the leaves are less likely to wilt. A full harvest should be completed just before the plants start to flower. Cut the entire plant 4-6" above the ground to promote a second growth. Leaves are easily bruised when picking, so handle carefully. Do not store at a temperature less than 50°F (10°C).