We all love to grow something for our kitchen, however small a space or little time we have. A herb garden is one of the easiest and useful things to have. Even if you don’t have a garden you can grow them in containers or pots.
Let us start with growing basil at home. It is the easiest and will give you abundant supply round the year.
Basil has over 60 varieties. So first, narrow down on the variety you want to grow. I know few which adorn the garden with their vibrant hues and aroma, then there are those which flavour our food — Christmas Basil, Cinnamon, Dark Opal Basil, Lemon Basil, Lime Basil, Thai Basil and of course the Indian Holy Basil
(Ram Tulsi, ShyamTulsi and KapurTulsi).
In earlier times, the Tulsi plant adorned the verandah of all Indian houses. Here’s a quick run through of how to grow one in your house,
- Having chosen the variety of basil to grow, select a pot. Small pots for single plants and rectangular pots for multiple varieties in one pot. Allow adequate drainage in the pots.
- Sow the seeds. Water generously a day before sowing. Sow enough seeds in each pot to get few plants in a single pot. Cover the seeds with ½ cm compost and firm gently.
- Basil seeds should germinate in a week’s time. Then take off the weak plants and allow the strongest to grow thicker.
- Provide plenty of sun light. Preferably place the potted plants in a south-facing balcony. Minimum 4 hours of sunlight is must. If you are growing them indoors, they need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.
- Use generous amount of fertilizers for potted plants. Once a month give good organic compost and dig well for the air circulation.
- Water them regularly. When watering make sure to water the base. Avoid showering the leaves and the stem as they may lose some flavor.
- To preserve the plant’s flavour, pinch out the flowers (if seeds are not needed). This will enable to have more healthy leaves.
- Harvest whenever you need. The tender leaves gives maximum aroma and flavour. Basil leaves are also frozen and used in dry form.
- Keep your basils away from frost.