Basil seedlings: grow and plant correctly

Basil is a healthy seasoning that gives dishes a spicy taste and pleasant aroma. With the onset of the summer season, I want to get an early harvest of this valuable and tasty spice. With direct sowing into the ground, the harvest will have to wait a long time, since basil is thermophilic, picky about the nutritional value of the soil and the rules of agricultural technology. But if you grow it through seedlings, then it will not be difficult to achieve an early harvest of greens.

Sowing basil seedlings

The seedling method of planting basil is an opportunity to get early greens and collect full-fledged seed material for planting in the next season. Healthy and strong seedlings are the key to a good result, therefore, when growing it, you need to pay attention to the timing of planting, as well as the conditions for its cultivation.

Step 1: determine the timing of planting

When determining the timing of sowing seeds, you need to focus on the possible timing of planting seedlings in open ground or a greenhouse. In a temperate climatic zone, this is approximately the first decade of June. In regions with a warmer climate, planting of seedlings can be carried out as early as mid-May. By this time, the possibility of return frosts will pass, stable warm weather will be established, the soil will warm up enough (up to + 10-15 degrees), and the plantings of the basil will not be threatened by weather disasters.

Helpful information! In the southern regions, basil is most often planted with seeds directly into the ground, but in the northern regions, you can get a full harvest only through growing seedlings.

In order to accurately determine the timing of sowing, use the following scheme:

  1. We will take the estimated date of disembarkation of seedlings at a permanent place as a starting point. Let's say that June 1 is a possible date for your area.
  2. It takes 60 days from this date - the required age of seedlings before disembarkation. We receive on April 2.
  3. Subtract 2 more weeks. This is the maximum time the seeds need to germinate. The resulting date is March 19.
  4. If the seedlings will be grown with a pick, that is, with transplantation from the total container into individual ones, then it is necessary to subtract another 4–5 days (the time of adaptation of the seedlings after the pick). We get the date of sowing seeds - March 14.

When determining the timing of sowing, the selected variety must also be taken into account. Basil of medium-late to late ripening develops more slowly, so its seeds are planted a few days earlier. The sowing time for early and mid-early varieties must be shifted to the other side. These plants develop faster and can outgrow within the specified time. This is extremely undesirable, because the overgrown seedlings will take root for a long time.

Note! If the cultivation of basil is planned in a greenhouse, then the sowing dates for seedlings are shifted by two weeks, that is, at the beginning of March.

Step 2: preparing the containers

Any container is suitable for sowing basil seeds. When choosing, you should decide in advance whether you will grow seedlings with or without a pick of seedlings. If a diving procedure is planned, then for the initial sowing, you can choose boxes in which the seedlings will feel free, it will be easy to care for them, they can be quickly moved to a new place or turned on the other side to the light.

When selecting planting containers, keep in mind that their height must be at least 8 cm

When growing without picking, individual containers are preferred. In this case, sowing seeds can be done:

  • peat tablets, cassettes and pots;
  • paper honeycomb;
  • cassettes and trays made of PVC and polystyrene;
  • containers from scrap materials, etc.

Photo gallery: individual planting tanks for growing seedlings

Step 3: choose and prepare the soil

To grow healthy, full-fledged seedlings, you should carefully consider the selection of soil. It should be lightweight, nutritious, and have good breathability. Do not fill containers with soil mixed with clay. Such soil does not allow air to pass through well, quickly becomes dense and begins to squeeze the delicate roots. In such conditions, the seedlings can get sick, grow weak, poorly developed.

Here are several options for a suitable soil mixture for growing basil seedlings:

  1. Humus, peat, sand in a ratio of 2: 4: 1.
  2. Garden land, peat, humus in equal parts.

You should not use very fertile soil: it is useless for germinating seeds, and it can even harm - slow down the emergence of seedlings and their growth, provoke diseases

It is recommended to steam the prepared soil mixture. Heat treatment will destroy weed seeds and pathogenic bacteria found in humus and garden soil.

Note! You can use a nutritious potting mix sold in specialty stores. For its disinfection, a saturated solution of potassium permanganate or Fitosporin is used.

If necessary, the mixed and disinfected soil mixture is spilled with a nutrient composition. To do this, urea, superphosphate and potassium sulfate (0.5 tsp each) are added to settled water. After the fertilizer is dissolved, the prepared substrate is moistened with it. Such watering will make the soil more nutritious, provide the emerging seedlings with all the necessary elements.

Step 4: process the planting material

Basil seeds will be active only in the presence of heat and sunlight, because their natural habitat is the hot climate of India. Therefore, before planting, it is recommended to warm them up to a temperature of +40 degrees. This can be done on a sunny windowsill or on radiators. After warming up, it is recommended to soak the seeds for a day in warm water (approximately +40 degrees), and then dry them a little.

Helpful advice! For soaking, you can use solutions of growth stimulants Zircon, Albit, etc.

Be prepared for the fact that when soaking the basil seeds will lick a lot.

Important! High-quality, warmed up and saturated with moisture seeds will sprout approximately 7-10 days after sowing.

Step 5: planting correctly

Sowing basil is absolutely simple. This procedure includes the following steps:

  1. A drainage layer of expanded clay or pebbles is laid at the bottom of the planting container. Its thickness should be 2-3 cm.
  2. The planting container is filled with a prepared substrate so that at least 1 cm remains to the edges of the planting container.

    When filling the container, keep in mind that the moistened soil will settle down a little.

  3. The soil is slightly compacted and moisturized.

    It is recommended to water the soil before planting seeds.

  4. Warmed, saturated with moisture and slightly dried seeds are evenly laid out on the surface of the soil.

    So that the seedlings do not fight for a place in the sun, it is better to immediately spread the seeds at a distance of 2-3 cm from each other

  5. On top they are sprinkled with soil mixture with a layer of about 0.5 cm. When planting several varieties, labels with names are installed, so that you can then navigate the varieties you like.

    Fill the cassettes with the remaining soil so that the basil seeds are at a depth of 0.5-1 cm

  6. The ground is carefully sprayed (preferably from a spray bottle) so that the seeds do not wash out to the surface. Do not use watering with a strong stream of water. It is fraught with the fact that the seeds, along with water, can go deeper. Because of this, they will germinate for a long time or not at all.

    The best way to moisten the soil is by spraying with a spray bottle

  7. The containers are covered with foil or glass and placed in a well-lit and warm place.

    Once the planting has been made, the container is covered with glass or polyethylene film to create a greenhouse effect.

Video: basil seedlings in a snail

Seedling care

The optimum temperature for keeping boxes with planted seeds will be + 20-25 degrees. After the emergence of seedlings, the covering material is removed and the containers are placed in a room with a temperature of + 16–20 degrees. In such conditions, the seedlings will not stretch.

After removing the film, the basil must be provided with regular and timely maintenance.

It is necessary to provide the seedlings with a sufficient amount of light. Poor lighting will lead to weakening and stretching of crops. Therefore, place the seedling containers in a well-lit area, protected from bright sunlight.

Note! Direct sunlight on young leaves can cause burns.


The top layer of soil in the planting tank should not dry out. Without moisture, small plants will begin to wither and stop growing. Waterlogging of the soil also harms the seeds that have hatched. It can cause the death of the roots, their decay, the development of a disease such as a black leg.

Important! If, when examining the seedlings, you notice that a dark constriction has appeared in the lower part of the stem, and the root collar has darkened, these are signs of a black leg disease. It is urgent to treat the seedlings with a solution of copper sulfate: 1 teaspoon of vitriol per 2 liters of warm water.

Basil seedlings love to be watered with settled, warm (at least +22 degrees) water. Watering with water directly from the tap can lead to the death of the roots. Water the seedlings with care, you need to try to moisten the ground, and not water the leaves. The ingress of moisture on the green parts of the plant can lead to the spread of fungal diseases.

Basil seedlings should be watered carefully, making sure they do not fall

Helpful information! There is a misconception that before transporting the seedlings to the landing site, they must be well watered. This is not true, because juicy stems and leaves are more fragile, they are more likely to break than slightly wilted.

Seedling picking

Picking seedlings is an optional process. If the seeds were sown in individual containers, or the sowing was carried out in a sufficiently large tray and the seedlings are not thickened, then it is quite possible to do without picking. It is enough to additionally thin out the seedlings and add soil to the container to strengthen the plant stems.

If necessary, the pick is carried out in the phase of two true leaves. The composition of the soil mixture can be the same as when sowing basil seeds. The pick is carried out as follows:

  1. Individual containers are filled with nutrient soil, slightly compacted.
  2. A small depression is made in the center.
  3. The seedlings are watered so that they can be easily removed from the substrate and the seedlings are easily separated from each other.

    Basil seedlings are ready for picking in the phase of 2-3 true leaves

  4. Each seedling is lowered into a prepared hole. Planting depth should be the same as for seedlings.

    Basil seedlings do not form adventitious roots on the stem, so it is better to dive them without deepening

  5. Sprinkle the sprouts with earth.

    Each basil seedling is dived into a separate container.

  6. Watering is carefully done, avoiding the fall of the seedlings.

    Immediately after picking, the plants are gently watered

7-10 days after picking, the seedlings can be fed with urea (1 teaspoon) and superphosphate (0.5 teaspoon), dissolved in water (1 liter). It is periodically recommended to pollinate the soil in containers with wood ash. It will not only provide seedlings with additional nutrition, but will also be an excellent prevention of fungal diseases.

Video: how to dive basil seedlings

Hardening basil seedlings

When growing basil seedlings, they try to create comfortable conditions for it. With a sharp change in an artificially created environment - for example, when transplanting into open ground - the plant will experience stress, it can recover for a long time, and get sick. It is recommended to gradually accustom, prepare seedlings for a new mode of existence. For this, it is hardened. Hardening begins about 2 weeks before planting the plant in a permanent place. She is taken out into the fresh air or in a plastic greenhouse. The main condition: the temperature of the seedlings during hardening should be at least +5 degrees.

Important! The optimal hardening mode is to create daytime temperatures within + 15-17 degrees, night temperatures - + 12-15. During hardening, watering of seedlings is limited.

First, the plants are taken out to fresh air for no more than 2-3 hours, when the air temperature rises to the level required for basil.

Transplanting seedlings into open ground

Basil seedlings will be ready for open field planting at the age of 50-60 days. By this time, she should have at least 5 true leaves, be healthy and strong. When determining the timing of transplantation, one should be guided by weather conditions: the danger of night frosts should be avoided, and the soil should warm up to a temperature of at least +10 degrees. For disembarkation, they choose a sunny place protected from the north wind, the site is carefully loosened and well filled with organic matter (1 bucket of rotted manure per square meter). The transplant is carried out as follows:

  1. Seedlings are transferred to a place prepared for disembarkation.
  2. If it was grown in a plastic, wooden container, the seedlings are carefully removed, trying not to damage the clod of earth, mastered by the root system. Peat pots and tablets are planted with the plant.

    Basil seedlings can be easily removed from the cassette when the roots have completely mastered the earthen ball

  3. For each plant, a hole is prepared with a depth of at least 8 cm.
  4. The holes are placed from each other at such a distance that each bush has a sufficient feeding area. This indicator depends on the height of the variety. The planting pattern for low-growing plants can be 20x20 cm, while for tall ones - no less than 40x20 cm.
  5. Water each well abundantly using about 1 liter of water.
  6. A plant in a peat pot or with a lump of earth is placed in the hole so that the young leaves and the central bud remain above the ground.

    The basil bush should be planted so that its main bud and leaves are above the soil.

  7. The hole is covered with earth and again spilled with warm water.

Note! If the transplantation is carried out in compliance with these rules, then in just a few days the basil seedlings will come into force and the bush will begin to actively grow.

Video: transplanting basil seedlings to the garden

Features of planting basil seedlings in a greenhouse

In protected ground, comfortable conditions for planting basil come a few weeks earlier than in open ground. The rules for transplanting basil into a greenhouse do not differ from planting in open ground. The main feature is that in unprotected soil, plants are most often planted in a line or in a separate ridge. In greenhouses and greenhouses, basil is used as a thickening plant between tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. For better growth and bushiness, it is recommended to pinch the top of the seedling. Provided that the soil is well nutritious, regular and abundant watering, the harvest will be early and of high quality.

In the conditions of the Moscow region, the north-western and northern regions, it is cultivation in a greenhouse that will provide an early and abundant harvest of greenery.

Basil compatibility with other plants

Basil belongs to companion plants, that is, to those spicy herbs that secrete specific substances that have a beneficial effect on other crops: enhancing their growth, disinfecting the air, repelling pests. Therefore, basil bushes are often used in joint plantings. Basil adjoins well with the following plants:

  • tomatoes;

    Basil improves the taste of tomatoes, and also repels many pests from tomatoes, including the tomato hornworm

  • beans. Basil protects legumes from damage by the bean weevil;
  • pepper and eggplant;

    Experienced gardeners say that in planting basil + pepper plants help each other.

  • fruit trees.The phytoncides secreted by the plant limit the spread of pests and diseases;
  • in the aisles of cabbage, carrots and other vegetables;
  • salad, parsley and other aromatic herbs;

    Spicy herbs can be arranged as a separate landscape object - a spice garden, which will become a fragrant decoration of the site

  • in almost all colors.

    When planting a basil in a flower garden, it is necessary to take into account the height and size of the co-planted plants.

The only plants whose neighborhood is not recommended for basil are rue, as well as cucumbers, which do not like combined plantings with any aromatic herbs. Basil itself grows well after those crops for which a large number of organic matter was introduced: legumes, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, onions, cabbage and carrots, as well as siderates. Taking into account the rules of crop rotation, you cannot plant basil in one place for several years in a row. The culture can be returned to its original place not earlier than in 4–5 years.

Given the huge number of advantages of basil, its benefits, including for garden crops, you should constantly have this plant in open ground beds and in greenhouses. It remains only to choose your favorite variety - and you can start planting it.

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My name is Ludmila. Higher education, graduated from the Minsk Institute of Culture. I live in Belarus.

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Aromatic, multifaceted - well-known basil

"... by a wall of rotating spokes
The flowing face is closed.
To the one who never sleeps
No basil needed. "

Basil is a beautiful plant, an excellent healer and a favorite spice, the secrets of growing which I will tell you about in this article.

Basil is a beautiful plant, an excellent healer and a favorite spice.

A native of Asia, basil did not immediately conquer Europe, despite the fact that it was worshiped in Iran, India and Ceylon. By the way, the Indians believed that basil leaves were a kind of pass to heaven for the deceased. This plant was also adored in Greece - translated from Greek, basil means "royal". But in Europe for a long time they treated him like a cursed plant. In the Middle Ages, Europeans sincerely believed that the smell of basil magically affects a person and turns him into a scorpion.

Several centuries passed before basil was appreciated in Europe: first it began to be grown in Italy, where the fame of a symbol of family well-being and fertility was entrenched, then in France, where basil became a favorite spice.

Basil sowing soil

The earthy mixture for basil should be loose and nutritious. The composition of the soil mixture: humus or well-rotted compost, peat, washed sand (2: 4: 1). Sift the mixture and steam in a water bath for 1 hour. Heat treatment will destroy fungal spores and weed seeds that are found in humus or compost, this will save you the trouble of growing seedlings. If you use a ready-made potting mix from a store, just spill it with a dark pink solution of potassium permanganate or any drug against fungal diseases (Fitosporin, Vitaros, Maxim).

When to plant tomato seedlings in the ground

Planting tomatoes in open ground is carried out when warm weather sets in and the danger of return frosts has passed. At this point, seedlings about 30 cm in height should have a stem as thick as a pencil with at least 6-7 leaves, short internodes and at least one flower brush.

Two weeks before the seedlings are planted in the garden, they begin to harden, gradually lowering the temperature of the content from 18-20 ºC to 14-16 ºC. The last 4-6 days, seedlings are taken out on a balcony, loggia or terrace. At first, it is kept there for 2-3 hours, but gradually the duration of the sessions is increased, and by the time the seedlings are planted in the ground, they should already spend in the open air around the clock, adapting to the conditions in which they have to grow and develop further.

If you have a spacious home and a lot of space, it is best to sow tomato seeds in separate cups. In a cramped city apartment, in order to save space, you have to sow in one common container. However, as soon as the seedlings develop the first pair of true leaves, they will still have to be transplanted. There is nothing wrong with this procedure: tomato seedlings, unlike seedlings of sweet and bitter peppers, are not afraid of picking and only get stronger from it, but for you this is an additional expenditure of effort and time, so weigh all the pros before choosing utensils for sowing and against.

Seedlings that have suffered from minor frosts (up to -2 ⁰C) can be saved by immediately pouring about 5 liters of warm water under each bush, taken from natural sources: a well, lake, pond, from an artesian well or collected during the rain. Moisten the row spacing as well, and then install metal arcs on the bed and lay two layers of thick plastic wrap on them. If prolonged frosts are expected, cover the seedlings over the sheeting with old blankets or other rags.

Remove the whitened or blackened leaves from the seedlings subjected to more severe frosting, cut out all frost cracks on the stems to healthy tissue, and spray the plants in the morning and evening with a solution of 1 ampoule of Epin and half a teaspoon of citric acid in 5 liters of water. Instead of Epin, you can use the drugs Zircon, HB-101, Cytovit, Ekoberin. To save the frozen roots of seedlings, add humate, urea or a solution of bird droppings to the soil.

The purple shade of the stems is a varietal trait of some blue or black-fruited tomatoes, as well as the popular variety such as Bull's Heart. As for varieties that should have green tops, the appearance of purple patches on the stems or leaves can have two reasons: severe hypothermia and a lack of a certain nutrient. If an anthocyanin shade appears on the underside of the leaves, it means that the plant is deficient in phosphorus, and if the petioles and stems of the seedlings become purple, and the leaves remain bright green or brighten, we can safely say that the seedlings suffer from a lack of sulfur.

Not only depletion of the soil's nutritional value, but also its hypothermia can lead to phosphorus starvation: the root system of seedlings at a soil temperature of 12 ⁰C ceases to absorb food, and soon purple areas will appear on the underside of the leaves.

Analyze the symptoms, determine the cause of their appearance and eliminate it.

No, not required. There are crops, the seedlings of which are better not to dive, because they recover for a long time after such stress. Tomatoes are not afraid of picking and do not suffer too much from it. On the contrary, after pinching the main root and transplanting, tomato seedlings become more viable and strong.

But if you sow tomatoes in separate cups or pots, you can avoid picking, saving your time. However, in this case, you will have to find a spacious and bright place for the growing seedlings, otherwise the seedlings will compete for every ray of light, their stems will begin to stretch and become thinner.

It is advisable to grow tomato seedlings in sawdust only for a short time: from the moment of sowing to the appearance of the first pair of true leaves in the seedlings, that is, before the pick. You need to dive seedlings into cups with soil.

The main advantage of sawdust is their softness and friability. In sawdust, seedlings appear faster, it is easy to extract seedlings from the sawdust substrate when transplanting, but this material does not contain nutrients, and as soon as the sprout uses up the nutrition embedded in the seed, it will need additional fertilizing, which will have to be applied constantly. That is, it is advisable to germinate the seeds in sawdust, and then cut the sprouts into separate cups with a suitable nutrient soil.

Cut strips up to 50 cm long and as wide as toilet paper from medium-weight plastic wrap. Write the sowing date and variety name on a disposable cup. Place a strip of plastic on the table and cover it with a strip of toilet paper. Dampen paper with spray bottle. Having stepped back 1 cm from the top edge, spread the seeds along the paper at a distance of 2 cm from each other, then cover them with another strip of paper, and then with a second strip of film with ventilation holes previously made in it. Now carefully roll it all into a roll, fix it with an elastic band and lower it into a glass so that the edge with the seeds is at the top. Pour water into a glass to a height of 1 cm, then cover the glass with crops with a transparent bag and place in a warm place. Several such rolls can be kept in one glass. And don't forget to change the water regularly.

If you find signs of a black leg on one of the seedlings, immediately destroy it, and while still healthy plants pour a fungicidal solution, then plant the seedlings in separate cups with fresh sterile soil as soon as possible. In general, this disease is easier to prevent than to cure.

To get rid of the pathogenic flora, including the causative agent of the black leg, disinfection of seeds and soil will help you. The seeds are kept for about half an hour in a solution of potassium permanganate or Fitosporin-M. The soil is heated in a water bath or fried in the oven at a temperature of 200 ⁰C. However, heat treatment kills not only pathogens, but also beneficial microorganisms, therefore, after disinfection, the soil mixture is spilled with Fitosporin-M, Baikal or Shining and kept under a film for at least a week so that beneficial microflora can develop before sowing.

The cause of this phenomenon can be diseases (fusarium) or mistakes in care, for example, improper watering. Check if the drainage holes in the container with the seedlings are clogged: water can stagnate in the roots, cause them to rot and wither of ground organs. If the soil in the container is wet all the time, increase the size of the holes and reduce the watering.

If the soil dries quickly and cracks, start watering the seedlings more often.

Do not sow tomato seeds too thick, keep plants away from heat sources, and keep them out of drafts. These reasons can also cause wilting of seedlings.

Often, tomato seedlings in low light conditions become pale, thin and lanky. This can be avoided by lowering the temperature of the content. That is, you need to take out the seedlings on a warmed loggia, on a veranda, or place them in a greenhouse. But not everyone has such an opportunity.

You can lower the temperature in the room by setting the vents of the metal-plastic window to the “ventilation” mode. However, you will have to monitor all the time so that there is no draft. The main thing you need to understand is that the effects of insufficient lighting can be mitigated by lowering the temperature. If you succeed in doing this, you can not light up the seedlings, and if it does not work, you will have to buy and install a source of artificial lighting over the seedlings.

Find out which of the causes of this phenomenon is most likely: poor lighting, lack of nitrogen in the soil, or incorrect temperature conditions.

Deficiency of light occurs due to short daylight hours and too dense crops. You need to place the seedling container in the brightest place and arrange additional illumination of the seedlings with an artificial source located above the box with seedlings at a height of 25 cm.

Lack of nitrogen can be eliminated by adding a solution of 1 tablespoon of urea in 10 liters of water to the soil. After such feeding, place the seedlings in a cool place (8-10 ⁰C) and do not water until the soil is completely dry. As soon as the seedlings regain their healthy appearance, you can return them to their previous conditions.

The sprouts can turn pale and stretch out from constant temperature fluctuations. You need to lower the indicators by 4-5 ⁰C, and then the seedlings will stop reaching up, and will give all their strength to the development of the root system.

When determining whether tomato seedlings are ready for transplanting to a garden bed, you should focus not only on the growing cycle of the variety, but also on the appearance of the seedlings. The height of the seedlings at the time of transplantation should be from 25 to 35 cm, and the height should be measured from the root collar of the seedling. The root system should be branched and well developed, and the stem should have 8-10 leaves.

Do not forget that about 2 weeks before transplanting, you should begin hardening procedures: you need to take the plants out to fresh air every day, gradually increasing the duration of their stay outside the house until the seedlings can be in the open space for a whole day.

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