It is the middle of spring and as warm weather approaches, we long for the summer that is just around the corner − lazy sunny afternoons, swimming, barbeques and mojitos.
Perhaps what you want on your barbequed lamb chop is fresh Rosemary, or fresh parsley in the potato salad, or basil on the tomato and bocconcini appetizers, and let’s not forget the mint in your mojitos! What if I told you, you could get all these delicious fresh, fragrant herbs straight from your own windowsill?
No matter where you live, whether it is a house, flat or shoebox, studio apartment, you can grow herbs. All you need is a space in the sun, pots, good potting mix and lots and lots of sunshine.
Herbs thrive in warm weather, especially basil. So the best time to start growing it is in late spring, ready for summer. While sweet or Italian basil is one of the more popular herbs, it is one of the more difficult herbs to grow. So here are a few steps on how to grow basil on your windowsill.
- Make sure you have a pot that has lots of drainage. Basil needs watering daily, sometimes twice a day on those 30-degree days. However, without a well-drained container, the soil will become soggy and the roots will be prone to rotting, as mentioned on Gardeningknowhow.com.
- Choosing the proper potting mix is vital. It should be rich in nutrients for a successful indoor/balcony herb garden. Because your basil will be used for flavoring foods, (unless you’re using it to make aromatic oils or something) it’s best to use an organic fertilizer, which also helps to maintain PH levels when growing basil indoors.
- Punnets of basil are an easy way to get your windowsill garden happening quickly. The best time to start growing herbs is in late spring, which will allow the leaves to be ready for picking by early December until mid May. So when you’ve chosen a spot to keep your little herb garden, make sure it gets plenty of sun (at least six hours a day), which is crucial for those first couple of weeks.
- You need to harvest your basil, but to prolong its life − the best time to do this is when the stems become woody. To do this, simply pick the basil off, close to the top of the leaves so that it can multiply next time it grows. When your basil starts growing flowers, cut them off to maintain a healthy, fresh and flourishing plant.
You can plant basil, amongst any other herbs like parsley, thyme and rosemary. However if mint is on the list, it might be best to keep it in its own container, as it is known to overtake everything else.
If your little garden get’s too big, get creative and re-plant them into old tyres, hollowed out tree-trucks or even mini wheelbarrows on your balcony or patio.
Now that you know the how-to for basil growing, you’ll be ready for those summer parties with friends, family and a sangria with a twist of basil, all thanks to your own beautifully, fragrant herb garden at your windowsill, (or wherever it may be).
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