Easy to Grow: Basil

Our Easy to Grow series of articles will feature plants almost anyone can grow and are great for kids or first-time gardeners. Every plant we feature has been tested for simplicity and adaptability here in Central Texas. So, follow along and get the know-how for simple gardening.


To kick off our Easy to Grow Series, we chose Basil. Basil is classified as a Tender Annual, meaning it can NOT withstand cold temperatures and is injured by frost. Primarily used as a culinary herb, basil is native to Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and South America. Basil will do well anywhere with hot summers and is perfect for your gardens here in Texas.



In The Garden: Start seeds indoors in early spring or outdoors when frost season is over.

Site:

  • Full Sun

  • Space 12 to 18 inches apart.

  • It can be grown in containers.

  • Soil PH 6.0

Care:

  • Cut flowers just above the first leaves to encourage branching and more leaves.

  • Spray aphids or whiteflies with horticultural soap.

  • Set measures to protect from slugs if this is a problem.

Harvest:

  • Leaves as needed.

  • Flowers as they open.

  • Preserve by chopping, mixing with oil, and freezing. (Much of the flavor is lost in drying)