They should grow to about 12 to 24 inches in height. This will force the plants to branch and grow more leaves. Since basil is an annual, it grows very quickly. Basil is a half-hardy annual, so new plants will be needed each year. Basil microgreens are the baby shoots of new basil plants. This will encourage branching, resulting in a bushier plant. Tomatoes make great neighbors for basil plants in the garden—and on the plate! Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors from seed. Wait until the evening to give the seedlings a good chance to adjust. Feel free to pinch 2 leaves from the tips. Plants should be spaced approximately 30 cm (12 in) apart, allowing 45 cm (18 in) between rows. All varieties of Basil are bushy plants and grow better when they are cut back frequently. If you grow your basil indoors, the best place it by a sunny kitchen window or an east-facing window. As basil plants grow to 4 to 6 inches tall, pinch off the topmost branches to promote more side shoots and a taller plant overall. You can simply pinch the other seedlings off to remove them without disturbing the roots. Pinching plants is a form of pruning that encourages branching on the plant. Rather than one single stalk, you get several areas where flowers will begin to produce rather than just one large cola. After a month and a half, after the basil seedlings have risen, 4-6 true leaves will appear on the sprouts. As the plants keep sending out new branching stems, continue to pinch … Pinch out the tops of the stems and they will push out. Transplanting Basil seedlings can be transplanted to the garden when they are between 6 and 8 weeks old, about 2 weeks after the last frost date. MobyWho from Burlington VT on April 06, 2012: Don't waste the pinched basil - dry it or make herbed salts, etc. I make sure to water the soil first because you will only need around 1/4 inch to cover the seeds. Basil plants initially grow one central stem. Spritz the top of the compost with warm water and cover the basil seedlings. Aphids: Look for colonies of greenfly on the soft You can pinch off individual leaves or take the tops off of a large plant if you need a large amount. Sprouting from seed, producing an abundance of fresh leaves, then flowering and going to seed all over the course of a few months. Growing basil microgreens is a fun (and yummy) container gardening project to do at home. Basil plants need consistent soil moisture to yield well. Basil plants will sulk and turn yellow in temperatures under 50 °F (10 °C). PINCHING: Each basil plant was pinched back before planting. If you have some compost or fertiliser handy add some to the soil to give your basil a boost. Pruning Basil Seedlings to Encourage Branching. These flowers are pretty, but they are also a sign that the plant is shutting down and going into reproduction mode — instead of growth mode, which would shoot out the necessary basil leaves for my pesto cravings. Pinching plants like mums and asters will also move their bloom time back a few weeks, giving you flowers in late September (when the rest of your garden is dying down) rather than in late summer. When you see flowers starting to grow, pinch them off immediately because they will hinder or stop new leaves from growing and can also alter the flavor of the existing leaves, making them bitter. Frequent harvesting or pinching of the leaves will keep your basil plants producing fresh leaves longer. This post may contain affiliate links. I might even allow just one or two branches to set seed and continue to pinch … Common problems. Pinch basil plants when they're 4 to 6 inches tall, removing the center set of leaves at the growing tip. Oregano and thyme do best when pinched or cut back to about half their length. Conclusion. Basil needs moist, well-drained soil. If you water once you have that fine covering it can move the seeds. Basil is ready to start harvesting in about 60 to 90 days from seeding. Growing basil from seed . Pinching or cutting back basil plants regularly encourages full, bushy plants. To pinch a fall bloomer , start by removing up to one-third of the plant when it reaches about 6 inches tall. Frequent pinching can keep rosemary and lavender to a manageable size during their spring growth spurt and supply you with lots of herbs for cooking. And at this time you need to harvest the first harvest! This prevents the seedlings from getting stressed and helps them to grow into healthy adults. Basil seeds seem to take anywhere from four to eight weeks to mature on my plants. To extend leafy growth, pinch out flower shoots as they start to develop. Once the basil seedlings are at least 4 to 6 inches tall and have several sets of leaves, give them their first haircut. How To Propagate Basil From Seeds. Basil hates having wet roots overnight, so aim to water plants in the morning if possible. When you cover the plants, make sure the material isn't touching or rubbing against the leaves. If fresh, pick early in the morning for highest oil content. A tomato plant (center) growing alongside basil. Pinching your plants will help create bushier plants where more buds can grow. Every day as you water the plants you can monitor the basil plant for signs of pests and diseases. When growing in pots, rotate your pot by 90˚ once a week to keep your plant nice and evenly bushy. For larger varieties, plant farther apart (about 16 to 24 inches). Though not required, this will help you separate the seeds from the dried flower petals in the next step. It’s best to transplant basil seedlings into the garden once nighttime temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees. Pinching back the growing tip of the plants after transplanting will encourage the growth of new shoots. Thinly sow the basil seeds. A third way to propagate basil is to start it from seed. One of the most important requirements for growing basil from seeds is sunlight. And keeping a good distance between plants so air circulation is well-maintained. The remaining seedlings need time to adjust to the extra air and light before the increased sunlight exposure during the next day. This will help the plant to grow bushy. Basil will happily grow in both pots and the garden. Step Three: Pull/pinch seeds from the dried flowers. Keep plants bushy and productive by pinching the tips of branches regularly and remove any flowers that start to develop. Clipping flower buds off as soon as they begin to form is an excellent way to keep basil plants from setting seed prematurely. Use sticks to keep the covering out of the way, or a covering made for plants that will just hover over it. If you are growing basil in pots, the basil plant will last around 4 months. Some basil plants flower quicker than others, and there’s great variety in the way the flowers look. However, in autumn, when temperatures start to dip, bring a few plants back indoors to provide a fresh supply of leaves in winter. Basil seedlings also make a lovely, delicious garnish or salad ingredient. Now that you know how to grow sweet basil successfully, it’s important to know how you can use it. ... You can start to pinch your basil once the plant is 6 inches tall. When your basil plants are three to four inches tall, pinch off the very top leaves, which will cause the plant to produce lateral shoots.