Plant sweet basil (lat.Ocimum basillicum), or camphor, or garden, or ordinary, is a herbaceous annual of the Basil species of the Kotovnikovye subfamily of the Yasnotkovye family. In the wild, basil herb grows in China, Iran, India, Africa, southern Asia, the tropics of the American continent, Central Asia and the Caucasus. It is assumed that basil originated from Africa, and was brought to Europe by soldiers of the army of Alexander the Great.
Our ancestors used basil primarily as a medicinal plant. Today, this herb is grown all over the world as a food spice.
Planting and caring for basil
- Bloom: late July or early August.
- Landing: sowing seeds for seedlings - at the end of March or in the first half of April, transplanting seedlings into open ground - in the second half of May. Sowing seeds in the ground - not earlier than the beginning of June.
- Lighting: bright sunlight.
- The soil: light, fertile, rich in humus, drained, breathable.
- Watering: as the top layer of soil dries up.
- Top dressing: once a month. The first time - 2 weeks after planting the seedlings in the ground with a solution of 2 tablespoons of Nitrofoska in 12 liters of water, spending 3-4 liters of solution for each m².
- Reproduction: seeds.
- Pests: aphids, field bugs, spider mites.
- Diseases: black leg, gray rot, fusarium.
Read more about growing basil below.
Basil plant - description
The root system of the basil is superficial, branching, the stem is tetrahedral, straight, branched, leafy, reaching a height of 50-70 cm. The sparsely toothed oblong-ovate leaves of the basil are located on short petioles. Both stems and leaves are covered with villi. The axillary flowers are pale pink or white, and sometimes purple flowers are collected in irregular whorls. The fruit of the plant consists of nuts, which are separated from each other after ripening. Basil seeds retain their germination capacity for about five years.
Purple basil varieties have a sharper aroma, they are popular in Asia and the Caucasus, while in Europe they prefer green basil - it is one of the most popular spices in Mediterranean cuisine. Basil exudes its strongest aroma before flowering.
In our article we will tell you how to grow basil from seeds, when to sow basil for seedlings, how to grow basil at home, how to plant basil in open ground, what are the benefits of basil, and what can be the harm of basil - in in general, everything that may be needed for those who decide to grow basil at home or in the garden.
Planting basil seedlings
When to sow basil seedlings
Basil can be grown both in seedling and non-seedling methods, but it will be safer to grow seedlings from seeds first, and then transplant the seedlings into open ground. In the article "Planting vegetables for seedlings in April" we described in detail how this process is carried out. For those who have not read the article yet, we will tell you about it right now.
So, when to sow basil seedlings? Best of all in the first half of April.
Planting basil on seedlings is carried out in a prepared soil mixture of four parts of rotted compost, two parts of humus and one part of washed river sand, which must be sifted and steamed for an hour in a water bath. Gardeners who prefer a seedling mixture sold in stores will need to spill the substrate with Fitosporin solution or a strong solution of potassium permanganate for disinfection.
You can grow basil seeds in a box, but then you will have to dive the seedlings after a while, or you can sow basil in cassettes 5-7 cm deep. Sowing basil is carried out in well-moistened soil to a depth of about 1 cm. The distance between rows in the box should be about 5 cm. After sowing, the container is covered with glass or plastic wrap and kept in a warm, bright place at a temperature of 20-25 ºC. After about a week or two, the first shoots of the basil will appear.
Growing basil from seeds
Once the seeds have germinated, the clear coat can be removed from the box and the temperature should be lowered to 15-20 ºC. Caring for basil seedlings does not require any extra efforts: water the plants as needed, preventing the soil from drying out, however, waterlogging should not be allowed, otherwise the seedlings can be struck by a black leg - a fungal disease that can destroy all crops. If you notice symptoms of this ailment, treat the seedlings with a solution of a teaspoon of copper sulfate in 2 liters of water or spill the substrate with a strong solution of potassium permanganate.
Seedlings growing in a common container dive at the stage of development of the first pair of true leaves into a larger container with the same substrate, into which a spoonful of complex mineral fertilizer and a couple of tablespoons of wood ash are added to 5 liters of the mixture. The planting depth of the seedlings in the new container should remain the same.
When the basil seedlings take root and grow, they pinch it over a 6-8 leaf to stimulate the growth of lateral shoots. Two weeks before planting the seedlings in the ground, they begin to harden them, taking them out to the balcony or into the yard, first for an hour, the next day for two, and so on, until the seedlings can stay in the fresh air for a whole day. Planting basil in open ground is carried out when return frosts have passed - in the second half of May.
Growing basil on a windowsill
How to grow basil at home
Growing basil from seeds at home begins in late February or early March in the same way as growing seeds for seedlings, only you need to sow several seeds in a peat pot or peat tablet. Before planting basil, the seeds are poured with a dark pink solution of potassium permanganate for a couple of hours. Crops are covered with transparent airtight material and kept under the conditions described in the previous section. Keep in mind that basil should be exposed to the sun for at least 3-4 hours a day.
When the seedlings develop the first pair of leaves, they, together with a tablet or pot, are transplanted into a large container - a liter pot, on the bottom of which a 2-3 cm high drainage layer of expanded clay, broken brick or pieces of foam is placed. The substrate for homemade basil should be fertile, but light and permeable. For example, a soil mixture of one part humus and two parts coconut fiber. You can pick off the first fragrant leaves for salads in a month and a half.
Watering the basil
Basil is hygrophilous, so the soil in the pot should be slightly damp all the time. Basil will have to be watered almost daily, and you yourself will understand this when one day, due to your forgetfulness, its leaves will hang like sails in calm weather. However, make sure that there is no waterlogging of the soil, which can result in root rotting. After watering, once every 2-3 days, gently loosen the soil in the pot.
If you have planted basil in less fertile soil, you will have to correct it with regular feeding. The plant responds well to universal fertilizers based on humates or compost, which are applied to the soil at the concentration indicated by the manufacturers, no more than once a month.
Growing basil outdoors
Planting basil in the ground
Planting basil in open ground is carried out only in the second half of May, when return frosts will take place.
Basil loves open, sunny areas, sheltered from strong cold winds. Some gardeners successfully grow basil in the near-stem circles of young fruit trees, which give almost no shade, which does not prevent the basil from absorbing the sun's rays, and its strong spicy smell discourages harmful insects from seedlings. Here is such a successful symbiosis.
Basil soil should be light and rich in humus, and most importantly - permeable. A month before planting, the site is dug up with humus, peat or compost at the rate of 2 kg of organic matter per m² of area. For planting, choose an evening or a cloudy day, dig holes at a distance of 15-20 cm from one another and plant basil seedlings in them. The spacing between rows should be at least 30 cm. Water the planted seedlings well with warm, settled water.
Growing basil in soil
The cultivation of basil is a series of activities familiar to every gardener: watering, weeding, loosening the site, feeding, protecting against insects and diseases. Freshly planted, still weak seedlings of basil are covered with foil for the first two weeks at night in case it gets colder at night. Until the basil grows, weeds are regularly removed from the site. The soil will have to be loosened quite often - 7-8 times per season before watering. As soon as the flower stalks begin to appear, gently break them out to stimulate the branching of the basil.
Watering the basil
Frequent watering of the basil has a positive effect on the appearance of new leaves, therefore, they moisten the area as the soil dries up. However, do not over-water the basil, as both insufficient and excessive watering of the basil are harmful. Water for irrigation should be warm (about 25 ºC) and settled for at least 24 hours. For settling and heating the water, you can use a capacious dish (barrel, old bathtub), setting it in the garden in a sunny place.
Top dressing of basil to stimulate the growth of green mass is carried out once a month. The first time fertilization in the form of a solution of 2 tablespoons of Nitrofoska in 12 liters of water is applied two weeks after planting the seedlings in the open ground. Solution consumption - 3-4 liters per m².
What to plant after basil
It is undesirable to grow basil in one place for many years, you need to alternate different crops on the site. Crop rotation is one of the main principles of success in agriculture. It is possible to return the culture to the place where it grew for 2-3 years only after 4-5 years. After the basil on the site, you need to grow crops resistant to basil diseases, for example: legumes, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, pumpkins, early potatoes and tomatoes. For the basil itself, good predecessors are green manures, tomatoes, onions, cauliflower and early white cabbage, beets, strawberries and green crops.
Basil pests and diseases
Basil plant is extremely resistant to pathogens, but sometimes health problems occur with it. Basil is most often affected by:
Blackleg - a fungal disease of basil seedlings, which develops in conditions of high acidity, poor aeration of the soil and too frequent and abundant watering. The fungus affects the root collar of seedlings, as a result, the vessels feeding the plant become clogged, the stem and its base become soft, blacken, thinner, the plant turns yellow and dies;
Fusarium - this fungal disease also affects the vessels of the plant, releasing toxins into its nutritious juices. In young plants, the stem becomes brown and thin, in adults the top dries up, they gradually wither and die. Too high temperature against the background of high humidity contributes to the development of the disease
Gray rot more often harms plants in greenhouses and greenhouses, but basil in the open field can also get sick. The disease manifests itself first on the lower, dying leaves, then it covers the entire plant: dry spots of light brown color are formed on the affected areas, which gradually become watery and covered with gray fluff.
As a treatment for gray rot and fusarium, treat basil at the initial stage of the disease with an infusion of onion husks: pour one volume of husk with four volumes of water and leave for 24 hours, then strain the infusion and spray basil with it. Black leg is treated by spilling soil in seedling containers with a solution of potassium permanganate. Remove diseased plants along with an earthen lump, and spill the remaining hole with a strong solution of potassium permanganate. But if the disease has taken effect, you are unlikely to be able to do without fungicides - Fundazol, Fitosporin, Topaz, Toivita Jet and others.
In order not to have to resort to pesticides, observe agricultural practices: do not grow basil in one place for more than three years, do not sow it too thickly, dust the soil surface with wood ash once a week, observe the water balance of the soil on the site, loosen it and in a timely manner remove weeds from the garden.
Among harmful insects, aphids and a field bug are dangerous to basil.
Aphid - the most pernicious of pests, sucking the juice from the leaves and stems of basil, as a result of which the leaves curl up, the stems stop developing, the plant dries up. The sugary secretions of aphids are a beneficial environment for the sooty fungus, which covers the plant with a dark bloom. In addition, aphids carry viral diseases for which there is no cure. You need to get rid of aphids as soon as you discover their presence. To combat aphids, decoctions of wormwood, tansy, hot pepper, dandelion, yarrow, onion, garlic, tomato or potato tops, and mustard are used. You need to process basil in the ground two or three times with an interval of 7-10 days. A good remedy for aphids is a solution of 100 g of grated tar soap in 10 liters of water or an ash solution prepared according to this recipe: 300 g of ash are poured with boiling water and boiled for half an hour, after which they are defended, filtered and added with water to a volume of 10 liters. In especially severe cases, when natural compounds do not help, treat the basil with a solution of Karbofos in accordance with the instructions - this insecticide has no taste or smell. They cope well with the pest Akarin, Bankol, Aktellik.
Lugovoi, or field bug as well as aphids, feeding on the cell sap of basil, deforms its leaves, they become covered with whitish spots, then turn brown and die off. The plant is harmed by both adults and bug larvae. These pests hibernate in fallen leaves and in the upper soil layer. The methods of dealing with the field bug are the same as for aphids.
Types and varieties of basil
In culture, the following types of basil are most often grown: camphor (or fragrant), Mexican (or cinnamon), purple (ordinary or regan) and lemon (Thai). The numerous varieties of basil vary:
- by shades of smell. They are cold, tart, warm or sweet. Basil's main scents are cinnamon, anise, peppery, lemon, vanilla, caramel, clove, and menthol. Varieties with caramel, lemon, vanilla and cinnamon aromas are used to prepare dessert dishes and drinks. Those with aniseed scent are needed for cooking fish dishes, and clove and pepper aromas are needed for meat dishes;
- by color: basil purple and basil green. Purple basil varieties have a pungent odor and are more commonly used in Caucasian cuisine and Central Asian dishes. Green varieties are more popular in Europe, in particular in the Mediterranean;
- by the size and shape of the bush Basil varieties are erect, spreading, semi-spreading, compact, although there are intermediate forms. Low-growing varieties with a height of 18 to 30 cm are known in height, varieties of medium height - from 30 to 60 cm and tall varieties - from 60 to 85 cm. It is more convenient to grow low-growing varieties at home;
- by maturity - early, medium ripening and late varieties.
The best varieties of basil include:
- Mauritanian - a productive fragrant mid-season variety of purple color with an erect, spreading bush up to 65 cm high;
- Table - erect bush up to 60 cm high with large light green ovoid leaves and delicate texture. It is one of the most aromatic mid-late varieties with good productivity;
- Dreamer - one of the most productive varieties of rich green color with a massive spreading bush, branched stem and lanceolate-oval leaves;
- Balconstar - a low-growing variety with small fragrant leaves of excellent taste, suitable for salads. Grows well in pots on the windowsill;
- Genoese - in plants of this fruitful variety, the leaves are large, glossy, dark green, fragrant and pleasant to the taste. The leaves of Genoese basil are consumed fresh and dried, sometimes it is put in soft drinks instead of mint;
- Gourmet clove - a productive variety with a massive, upright bush of medium height with medium-sized green elliptical leaves. This basil perfectly complements the taste of fish, meat, potato dishes, as well as rice and cheese dishes;
- Basilisk - a compact variety for growing at home and outdoors with a clove-pepper aroma. Erect bush, up to 20 cm high, densely leafy with small, green leaves half-raised shoots;
- Yerevan - one of the most common productive varieties with a clove-pepper aroma. The bush is of medium height, the leaves are purple, ovoid, medium in size;
- Troll - mid-season, fruitful small-leaved and compact variety for growing at home, resistant to sudden changes in temperature. The leaves of the plants of this variety are dark purple. The bush looks very attractive;
- Magic Mountain - a variety of Israeli selection, characterized by resistance to high and low temperatures and lack of moisture. Its neat round bush with green leaves with a purple tint looks great in the garden and as an ornamental plant;
- Red Rubin - a variety of American selection of mahogany-purple color, in which not only the leaves, devoid of the bitterness of green varieties, are edible, but also the buds, which in America are usually added to omelets.
The following varieties of basil have also proven themselves perfectly: Charm, Marquis, Ararat, Velvet, Violet, Greek, Robin Hood, Dragon, Gigolo, Green fragrant, Orion, Pepper aroma, Tempter, Baku, Sorcerer, Lemon, Dwarf, Curly, Philosopher, Broad-leaved other.
Basil properties - harm and benefit
Benefits of basil
The aroma of basil is due to the presence of a complex essential oil in its ground part, which has a bactericidal effect. Contains basil vitamins C, B2, PP, provitamin A, carotene, sugar, phytoncides, rutin. Basil protects the body from infections by stimulating the immune system. It even inhibits the growth of HIV and cancer cells. Basil has antipyretic, bactericidal, antioxidant, tonic and tonic effects.
The use of basil in food is indicated for viral, bacterial and fungal infections, respiratory and pulmonary diseases. It helps to get rid of excess mucus in the nasal passages, excess gas in the rectum, improves memory, strengthens the nervous tissue.
Basil easily copes with inflammation of the oral cavity - caries, ulcers, tartar, plaque and bad breath. With an astringent effect, it strengthens the gums, preventing premature tooth loss.
Basil helps the body to cope with flatulence and gastrointestinal diseases. The enzymes it contains accelerate the breakdown and burning of fats in the body, while estragol and evengol stimulate mental activity.
Basil essential oil successfully heals wounds, relieves spasms of various nature, is used for inhalation of the upper respiratory tract. Basil leaf juice is used in the fight against fungal infections of the skin, water extracts from the plant give good results in the treatment of gastritis and food poisoning.
Dried basil is used to make tea or make compresses to relieve headaches and eczema. An alcoholic infusion of basil is used to treat colitis, pyelitis, whooping cough, neurosis, bronchial asthma, low blood pressure, inflammation of the kidneys and bladder, flatulence and the common cold.
Basil - contraindications
Since basil has a tonic effect, it is contraindicated for those suffering from diseases of the cardiovascular system - hypertension and hypertension, and especially for those who have suffered myocardial infarction. Basil is also dangerous for patients with venous thrombosis of the lower extremities, thrombophlebitis, vegetative-vascular dystonia and diabetes mellitus. Hypotonic people can consume basil without fear.
Basil is not recommended in large quantities during pregnancy, especially for purple varieties of the plant, but for nursing mothers it is shown as a good lactogonic agent, and if your baby is not confused by the strange taste and aroma of your milk, you can not refuse basil during breastfeeding.
Basil contains a small amount of mercury, so it is better not to consume it in large quantities even for absolutely healthy people.
- Read the topic on Wikipedia
- Features and other plants of the Lamiaceae family
- List of all species on The Plant List
- More information on World Flora Online
Sections: Garden plants Lamb (Lipoids) Spicy plants Plants on B Leafy
The garden on the windowsill - myths and reality
Getting your own harvest of greens, herbs and even vegetables on the windowsill is a very tempting idea. And inevitably - associated with myths, misconceptions and stories of disappointment. Today, growing greenery on the balcony or in the kitchen is not just popular, but fashionable. But before sowing lettuce, parsley and mint in pots, you should sensibly assess your capabilities. It is possible to achieve a harvest from a vegetable garden on a windowsill only if ideal conditions are provided. And first of all - correct lighting. In the article, we debunk the myths about growing greens and vegetables at home and "draw" a real picture of a vegetable garden on the windowsill.
The garden on the windowsill - myths and reality
Features of growing tomatoes on a windowsill
Not all tomatoes will bear fruit abundantly at home, it is better to choose low-growing early varieties, for example, "Japanese room", "Dubok", "Moskvich", "Bonsai", "Ladybug", etc. Before sowing, the seeds must be treated with a saturated solution of potassium permanganate for 1-2 minutes. This will destroy the pathogens of late blight and other diseases. After that, the seeds are dried, sown in seedling boxes, which are placed in a warm place, covered with glass. After the emergence of shoots, the boxes are transferred to a lighted place, and the glass is removed. Tomatoes grow quickly, and after 5-7 days you need to dive. At this point, the seedlings will have a real leaf. During the pick, carefully remove one plant from the ground, cut off the root tip and transplant the seedlings one by one into a spacious pot. For the soil, you can use a mixture of humus, turf and sand, taken in equal parts.
With good lighting and a temperature of at least 20 ° C, the seedlings grow quickly, you just need to remove the stepsons and water them in time, but at the same time do not allow waterlogging. Pre-defend water for irrigation. For the prevention of fungal diseases, spray with a solution of Bordeaux liquid. To do this, dissolve 10 g of copper sulfate in 1 liter of water. Then dilute 20 g of slaked lime in 100 g of water. Mix the liquids and process the seedlings.
To pollinate tomatoes 2-3 times a week, tap the flowers on the brushes. And when the main part of the fruit is tied, remove the tops from each plant and cut off any new flower brushes. This will promote maturation.
What can be grown in a home garden
Not all garden crops are suitable for home cultivation. Many of them require space - large beds, a deep layer of fertile soil, a significant distance between individual plants. But there are those who will have enough space on the windowsill. Here is a list of them. Vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, beans, sweet peppers, hot peppers.
The benefits of a home mini-town are not limited to getting a fresh harvest all year round and the opportunity to pamper yourself with vitamins in the middle of winter. It's also a great way to deal with the stresses of everyday life. Nothing soothes the nerves and brings them to a harmonious state like engaging in a favorite and useful hobby for the whole family.
Spicy-aromatic herbs: dill, basil, coriander, fennel, thyme, oregano, marjoram, tarragon, saffron, mint, lemon balm, rosemary, cumin. Other crops: garden strawberry, pineapple, ginger.
As a big salad lover, I could not, of course, ignore it. This culture is a little more demanding than green onions and watercress, but for the juicy greens it is worth the effort. What do you need to consider?
- Firstly, lettuce at home needs additional lighting - this is a light-loving culture. Lack of lighting will lead to early peduncle formation. The problem is partially solved by the choice of varieties. For me, 'Lollo Rossa' and 'Lollo Bionda' (my favorites) also recommend the varieties 'New Year', 'Vitamin', 'Emerald Lace' for home gardens.
- Secondly, lettuce reacts painfully to drought and heat: the leaves become coarse and bitter, flower stalks form quickly.
- Thirdly, lettuce shoots need to be thinned. It is recommended to do this twice: a week after the emergence of seedlings at a distance of 1-2 cm between seedlings, and in the phase of 2-3 true leaves - at a distance of 4-5 cm.If you thicken the crops, the plants will stretch out, weaken, and you are most likely to harvest , you will not see.
Young lettuce plants. Photo by the author
From growing head lettuce at home, it is better to refuse until there is enough experience: they are more demanding and need more careful care than their leafy cousins, and their growing season, as a rule, is longer. To be honest, I did not even try to grow lettuce at home to the standard sizes that it reaches in the garden - tender young leaves were enough for me. But, if space permits, and there are conditions suitable for a salad, it is quite possible to get large outlets.
Growing and caring for basil outdoors
If you can boast of having a small greenhouse and a large amount of territory at your summer cottage, then growing basil from seeds for seedlings is suitable for you. Experienced gardeners do not recommend planting spicy grass directly into open soil; it is best to use the greenhouse method.
Sowing green culture for seedlings is carried out in early April. The soil is prepared on the basis of compost, humus and sand steamed in a heat bath. When buying a ready-made substrate, treat it with Fitosporin or a potassium permanganate solution to disinfect it. Basil is sown in prepared greenhouse boxes to a depth of 1 cm. They are also covered with glass or foil.
Growing basil in a greenhouse is a simple process, it is enough to water the grass, avoiding waterlogging of the soil. After the formation of the first pair of leaves, the plant dives into larger containers. Wood ash must be added to the prepared substrate. Before transplanting seedlings into open soil, they need to be tempered outside for a week or a half. It is recommended to transplant royal grass into the garden at the end of May, when the threat of frost has passed.
Secrets of caring for the garden
Basil prefers lighted areas with ample sunshine. Often summer residents practice growing crops in the near-trunk circles of young trees that do not give shade, but protect the plantings from the winds.
The area where the basil will be planted must be dug up in advance, enriched with humus. For planting, holes are made at a distance of 15-20 cm. The planted seedlings are watered abundantly.
Further care consists in weeding, fertilizing the territory. Watering is carried out as the soil dries up. Do not overdo it with fertilizers, because otherwise, it can lead to the development of various diseases.
To stimulate the development of green mass, basil is fertilized with Nitrofoska (2 tablespoons of substance are used for 12 liters of water). It is recommended to carry out such a procedure 14 days after transplanting the bushes into open soil.
As you can see, the cultivation of basil can be carried out both on the windowsill and in the open field. The main thing is to follow all the rules for caring for green grass, moisten the soil in a timely manner, and fertilize the bushes. The correct approach to this process guarantees a bountiful harvest.
10 types of greenery to grow on the balcony: home garden
Home / Tips & Ideas / Garden and Plot / 10 Types of Balcony Greens: Home Garden
Aina Sat, 25 Apr 2020 07:19:21 +0300
So you want to go out onto the balcony and pick fresh fragrant greens for dinner, carefully grown with your own hands without harmful chemicals. Well, or at least from the windowsill (if there is no balcony). Growing greenery at home is a pleasant and useful activity that only seems difficult (in the second year of apartment gardening, you will already feel like a professional). For your attention - 10 types of greens for home cultivation.
How to grow onions on a windowsill
There is nothing easier than growing green onions at home. Onions do not require any special care, grows quickly, are healthy and easy to grow. The most popular way that saves space in an apartment is growing onions in a plastic five-liter bottle (we make holes, fill them with earth and plant the pre-soaked onion sets). Onion loves moist soil and temperatures of 18-20 degrees.