Growing Basil Indoors
Tips for Growing Basil Indoors
While it is certainly – in some ways - easier to do outdoors, growing basil indoors is not that difficult. In most parts of the country, growing basil outdoors all year is simply not an option. For cooks who love to grow their own fresh basil, here are some tips to keep that fresh flavor in your recipes all year long.
Choose a container that was created for herbs. These are readily available at any garden supply store. While herb containers are one good choice, any container that mimics the size of these is also appropriate.
Basil that is grown outside typically has no special requirements when it comes to soil. However, container basil is different in this way. Fertilizer will be needed for container grown basil. If the basil you are growing is for use in food, you will want to select an organic fertilizer. If it is for some other purpose, any common fertilizer will do.
You will also need to check the PH levels regularly. Aim to keep the PH levels somewhere between 6 and 7.5.
When watering your basil plant, you want to keep it very moist, but not to the point of being drenched. You’ll need to create a way for excess water to immediately run off the plant, so the container should, obviously, have drainage holes as well as something placed beneath it to catch the excess water.
Some who are fond of growing basil indoors opt to use an automatic watering system of some sort. If you do this, be sure to manually check the plants often to be sure the proper amount of water is being delivered.
It should not come as a surprise that growing basil indoors requires sufficient sunlight. Ideally, you will have a south facing window. If you do, place the plant in front of that window for around six hours each day. If you don’t have such a window, you can use artificial lighting with good results.
You will, however, have to increase the amount of time when using artificial light. While the basil plant will only need to be in the natural sunlight for six hours a day, the plant will need ten to twelve hours of artificial lighting.
For those wishing to grow several varieties of basil, some recommend using a strawberry pot. This will allow you to keep the varieties separate while still being in one container.
Some who have grown basil outdoors for years find that growing it inside in containers is so easy and convenient that they actually prefer it all year long. Growing basil indoors provides benefits such as not having to worry about sudden changes in the weather, pests or other harm that could come to outdoor plants. It is, obviously, a bit easier to control the plant’s environment overall when growing indoors.
Once you get started, you’ll probably be amazed at how easy growing basil indoors can be. With a little care and attention, your container grown basil can be as wonderful as the basil grown in your outdoor herb garden.