When to sow basil
Basil does not tolerate low temperatures, in the open field we must be careful to wait for the last frosts before sowing or transplanting, waiting for the temperature to be at least 10°.
For this reason, a seedbed is generally used in which to shelter the pots of soil from the cold, anticipating the sowing period.
The best time to sow our basil in a greenhouse or seedbed is February-March, while for planting in the open field it will be better to wait for April or May (in Italy) depending on the climatic zone in which we find ourselves, when the climate will have stabilized.
How to sow basil
To sow basil we recommend a depth of only 0.5 cm: the seed is very small and therefore does not have to be very deep.
In the seedbed we can use any soil for sowing, taking care to choose it very fine, and as containers with holes in the bottom. The basil seedlings will be planted by spacing them only when they have developed 4-6 leaflets.
If we place them in the open field, we immediately plant them at a distance of about 25/30 cm between one plant and the other, putting a couple of seeds in each hole to make sure something is born.
Sprouting of seeds under optimal conditions should not take more than 15-20 days; the entire duration of the crop cycle settles on two months.
Irrigation of basil
After sowing it is essential to irrigate the basil and in the following days never let the soil lack water, even if without causing excessive stagnation. Even the temperature must be controlled, if the night cold returns you can consider covering with sheets of non-woven fabric.
Types of basil
Before sowing we need to choose which type of basil to grow in our garden. We find about fifty varieties of basil all over the world, here we list only a few, choosing the most common in Italy:
- Genoese basil : with medium-large leaves, by far the most classic.
- Neapolitan basil : large leaves, taller plant.
- Lettuce leaf basil : tall plant, large leaves.
- Basil fine green : small plant, small leaves.
- Ball or minimum Greek basil : small leaves, round bush shape. Seeds available for purchase here.
- Thai basil : more pointed leaves, a note of anise in the flavor, violet veins in the leaf veins.
- Cinnamon basil : with hints of cinnamon, an exotic type of Mexico.
- Basil lemon : the lemon scent makes this variety very special.
- Red basil : less intense flavor, unusual due to its color.