Basil seeds on the plot and balcony
Basil seeds in a nutshell
Basil seeds - read more in this article. Basil is also called regan in another way. This fragrant shrub has been known since ancient times and does not lose its popularity today, being a distinctive feature of different cuisines of the world. In nature, there are a large number of varieties that differ from each other in the color of the leaves. The color palette ranges from light green to red and purple. It is not difficult to acquire a regan. To do this, just go to any grocery store. However, the rather meager range of varieties available for sale can be a disappointment. For advanced gourmets, this is not enough. What to do in this case? The answer is simple - grow basil from seeds on your own. This process is quite simple, even a novice gardener can handle it. It is enough to know the basic rules, which we will consider below.
When to sow basil seedlings
So, point number one is time. Considering that basil is native to warm countries with subtropical and tropical climates, it is very thermophilic. The minimum deviation from a comfortable temperature threatens to stop growth, and a significant decrease in it will lead to the death of the plant. Therefore, in most of our country, it is grown by seedlings. Basil seeds are planted from mid-March to late April, depending on the climatic zone.
When to sow basil seeds for outdoor use
Once the danger of frost has passed, basil can be planted outdoors. The soil should warm up to a depth of about ten centimeters. However, for some regions of the country, namely for the northern ones, this option is not relevant, because there is a very short period of time when the soil is sufficiently warmed up. In southern Russia, this time falls on the second half of April. In the central regions, this action should be postponed until the end of May. In other matters, it is also not worth delaying the planting, because excessive heat is also destructive for delicate seedlings.
Basic rules for planting basil seeds
Basil seeds: choice of capacity
When choosing a container for basil seeds, it will be optimal to stop at specially designed cassettes. This is the most budgetary and affordable option, and besides, it is best suited for those who want to grow several varieties at the same time. It is enough to wash new cassettes under water. If you are using cassettes that you purchased earlier, you need to make sure that they are properly prepared for use. To do this, they must be thoroughly cleaned of the remnants of the earth, if this has not been done before, wash clean, soak in a solution of potassium permanganate, then rinse with clean water.Once all these conditions are met, the cassettes can be filled with soil.
The importance of soil
For conservatives in the gardening business, there are ordinary planting boxes. Before using them, they must also be disinfected with manganese, scalded with boiling water and dried. Then install in a sufficiently lighted warm place and fill with soil. For these purposes, you can buy standard seedling soil. It is important to remember that you do not need to add expanded clay to the planting boxes, as inexperienced gardeners often do. This can lead to subsidence of the soil, the seeds will simply fall through and not sprout. This layer is only required if non-specialized utensils are used for planting basil seeds (for example, an ordinary flower pot)
Basil seeds: the right place
First of all, you need to choose a permanent place for the planting box, ensure that there is a pallet so that the water used for irrigation can drain easily through the holes in the bottom.
How to sow basil seeds correctly
To get a good harvest, it is important to choose loose soil. A universal soil for indoor plants is suitable. The soil mixture must be sieved before being placed in the box. Next, two-thirds of the box is filled with the sifted substrate and tamped with a heavy object. It is imperative to fill the box around the perimeter so that there are no non-tamped areas between the mixture and the sides. Laying is done in several actions - pour, tamp, then add again and tamp again. But remember, so intensively you need to tamp the area directly at the very walls. If you are new to this question, it is quite easy to test yourself - if the ramming was done correctly, the box will be less than half full. At the end, the surface must be leveled.
This simple procedure takes quite a lot of time, because it must be performed as carefully as possible in order to get the expected result.
Backfill work must be performed at a time, without pauses. If you still had to distract yourself, do not forget to wrap the box in plastic to prevent the mixture from drying out.
Basil seeds for planting can be purchased at the store. They are already ready for planting and do not require additional manipulations. The seeds are planted directly into the box, observing the gaps between them within five centimeters. First, grooves are prepared with a depth of five millimeters, which must be shed with warm water. Next, we sow seeds into the resulting grooves, cover them with a layer of earth, irrigate them generously with water from a spray bottle for flowers, and cover with a film.
The first shoots of basil can be obtained two weeks after sowing, provided that the temperature regime has been observed in the range from twenty to twenty-four degrees. If we want to see the shoots earlier, we can raise the indoor temperature to twenty-eight degrees. A temperature of twenty degrees is meaningless, since the seedlings will simply stop developing.
A new planting must be freed from the film every day, the degree of soil moisture must be controlled and aired. If the soil is dry enough, it can be slightly moistened with a spray from a spray bottle. The main thing is not to overdo it, because it should not be wet.
Basil seeds: how to take care of seedlings
As mentioned above, basil seedlings do not require specific care. It is enough to constantly water the seedlings with warm clean water, preventing the soil from getting wet. If watering is nevertheless abused and there is such a disease as black leg, urgent action is needed. To do this, we treat the seedlings with a weak solution of copper sulfate. To prepare such a solution, we need one teaspoon of copper sulfate directly and two liters of warm water.
It is important not to forget about the light preferences of the basil, because he is very fond of good lighting. To obtain high-quality seedlings, seedlings must be in a sufficiently lit place for at least ten hours a day. If this condition is not met, the plants need to be illuminated additionally, for example, using special phyto lamps.
If all the necessary conditions are met, then soon you can see a couple of real leaves, which means it's time to transplant the young seedlings into an individual container. This step is not necessary if cassettes are used for growing. As a dive tool, you can use a small wooden spatula within fifteen centimeters long, or a homemade peg with a thickening at the end. These devices will allow you to effortlessly get the shoots out of the soil, make depressions and press the shoots to the new soil.
For picking seedlings, all the same types of containers are suitable as for planting seedlings. The ground mix is also similar. New dishes are filled in the traditional way, there is no need to fill the soil as thoroughly as was required when planting. Young plants should be arranged in lines, keeping a distance of at least five centimeters between them. Do not deepen the seedlings too deep. Maintain the same planting depth as for seedlings. Water gently to prevent seedlings from falling.
Fertilizers and feeding
Seven days after transplanting, the seedlings can be fertilized. This time should be enough for it to take root. As a top dressing, you can use a simple solution of your own preparation. Dissolve superphosphate (two grams), ammonium nitrate (four grams) and two teaspoons of wood ash in one liter of water. Two weeks later, the seedlings can be fed with a similar composition again.
When four to six true young leaves appear, they need to be pinched. Never pry off the tops of delicate plants; it is best to carefully cut them off with scissors.
How to sow basil seeds outdoors
Now let's look at the basic rules for planting basil in open ground. In this matter, we rely on the climatic features of the region. For example, in the north, planting a plant in open ground is, in principle, impractical. In the central part of the country, a crop grown in an open field can give a good harvest only if the summer is warm. Otherwise, the shoots will not contain enough essential oils. Such basil can be used only for fresh consumption, but not for drying.
In the southern regions, there are usually no problems with seed germination, but the first harvest can be harvested faster from basil grown through seedlings than directly on open soil.
Before sowing the selected area with seeds, you must first prepare it, namely, dig it up, free it from weeds and stones. This is best done a month before the expected landing date. The plant loves light soils with a sufficient drainage system, so sometimes sand is added to the soil. If the soil on the site is initially heavy, it can be enriched with peat.
The soil must be leveled immediately before planting. If this is not done, seedlings can fall into uneven ground and get lost in it.
Choosing a place to plant basil seeds
Choose an area with ample sunlight and no drafts as your basil seed planting sites. It will be good to plant a spicy plant near small young trees and shrubs, they will not shade our pet. But planting basil where spicy herbs and shrubs previously grew is not the best idea, because the substances they release into the soil, in addition to scaring away pests, inhibit their own growth.Excellent neighbors for the plant will be tomatoes, the watering scheme of which is the same, bell peppers, zucchini, onions and green onions, as well as aromatic herbs such as mint and rosemary. And if you plant a fragrant seasoning next to legumes, it will reduce damage to the latter by the legume weevil. After all, beans spoiled by a pest are not suitable for food, and even for animal feed for preparatory processing.
Basil seeds do not require additional processing before planting in open ground. Some gardeners advise pre-soaking them, but there is no proven beneficial effect on germination in this case. Moreover, slippery swollen seeds are not very convenient to spread in the ground.
For planting in open ground, it is also important to correctly determine the variety. It should ripen within thirty days. Such varieties as Aramis, Schisandra, Clove, and others are perfect for planting basil seeds.
How to plant basil seeds
The actual planting process is very simple. On the bed, shallow lines are drawn within one centimeter wide, at a distance of fifteen centimeters from each other. After that, the resulting furrows are watered with warm water and the seeds are sown. After that, the bed should be leveled. Additional watering is not required, the seedlings will receive the required amount of moisture directly from the soil.
How to properly care
We chose a place, prepared the beds, sowed basil seeds. But the work doesn't end there. The next point is leaving. To speed up germination and preserve moisture, the beds are covered with a layer of film. As soon as the first shoots appeared, we begin to systematically remove the film for airing. This should be done exclusively during the day, when young delicate plants are not threatened by low temperatures.
Watering should be moderate, but systematic. It will also be useful to irrigate plants with growth regulators (zircon and elin). Thanks to these drugs, the bushes develop their own immunity to adverse external factors.
Fertilizers and feeding
At the stage of formation of two true leaves, you can start fertilizing with urea or with store-bought fertilizers. After two weeks, feeding can be repeated using mineral fertilizers. The soil must be loosened at least once a week.
How to plant seedlings in an open area
Along with the method of planting basil seeds, there is a method of planting in open soil by means of seedlings. It can be planted when the soil is well warmed up. In our country, this method is the most popular, as it allows you to preserve the maximum number of spicy bushes. The endurance with this method is significantly better than with the seed version.
How to prepare seedlings
Seedlings need to be prepared for outdoor conditions in advance. To do this, it is tempered by lowering the temperature of its content to seventeen degrees in the daytime and to fifteen degrees at night. Watering is also reduced. If the weather is already warm outside the windows, the seedlings are put outside for several hours so that the plants get used to the new habitat.
The soil requirements for seedlings are similar to the seed option. The soil should be loose, with a maximum nutrient content. A composition of compost or humus, peat or standard soil for seedlings, and river sand is suitable. The ratio of the components should be 2: 4: 1, respectively.
Basil seeds: preparation of the selected place
The planting site is preliminarily cleaned of extraneous roots and weeds, we dig it up. It is advisable that after this the earth stood like this for about two weeks. But if this is not possible, the loosened ridges should be watered by spraying water over the surface, and only after that start planting (the next day).
A shallow hole is dug under each bush, filled with water.Basil freed from the previously occupied capacity is placed in the center of the hole, the root is covered with soil and up to two centimeters of the stem. Compact the soil around with your hands and water it again.
It is important to place the wells at a distance of about twenty centimeters from each other in the same row. And between the rows it is worth skipping about thirty centimeters. Such a scheme will provide the most comfortable space for growth, ventilation and sunlight.
Immediately after planting, the seedlings need abundant watering. The water should be warm. But so that excessive watering does not lead to rotting of the stems, watering should be replaced by loosening the soil.
Potential diseases and insect pests
Are pests and diseases scary for our fragrant representative? That's great rarity. Because basil is not only slightly susceptible to their action, but can also act as a protector of other flora growing nearby due to the content of essential oils.
We have covered the main points of planting and caring for basil seeds, but ignored one important point - how to harvest? In the dried state, the seasoning is actively used in cooking for the preparation of many dishes. You can also freeze basil, but with this method of storage, some of its beneficial properties will be lost.
You can start cutting off fragrant leaves and shoots from mid-summer and continue until autumn. In addition, if, in addition to young shoots, flower stalks are also removed, basil will grow rapidly. But it will be possible to collect ripe seeds only by autumn.
It takes a little effort to get a good harvest of any plant. If you have provided the right soil, watering, sufficient light and timely fertilization, then basil will repay you with selected fragrant herbs, rich in elements necessary for health, and will become an adornment of culinary delights.
Basil seeds photo