How To Plant Basil On Your Windowsill

There are times when outdoor conditions prove to be unfavourable for the growth of basil, and this is where indoor options come into the picture. By planting your herbs on your windowsill you get to extend the period in which you can plant them, and you also get to regulate factors such as temperature and moisture. As such, growing your basil on a windowsill holds an array of benefits for you.

One of the factors you need to look into when going down this route is to choose a location which has adequate sunlight such that your herbs can grow into healthy plants. You also need to make space considerations such that you use big pots which will allow you to plant many basil crops. In this way, you can harvest fresh herbs from your indoor garden on a daily basis without running out. What are some of the factors that can help you succeed in this undertaking?

Sunlight

Sunlight not only boosts the growth of your plant but it also enables your herb to have lots of flavours. Lack of access to adequate sunlight will result in dull-looking, weak plants with minimal flavour, and thus reduced benefits. When choosing a spot, look for places which have access to sunlight for at least six hours a day. A southern window is always best in this case. The sill should also have protection from wind drafts which can prove damaging to young plants.

If you are unable to find an ideal spot regarding wind and sun, you can choose to grow your basil indoors. In such case, look into suitable options for plant lighting to enable you to get the most out of your herb.

Seed Selection

There are two methods in which you can go about planting basil. The first involves looking for suitable seeds which you can source from local stores. Though this allows you to take charge of each step as from the germination going onwards, it also comes with a drawback in that it requires more of your time and attention. However, it is an excellent option for someone looking to cut back on costs incurred in the process. The second option is the use of small basil plants which allow you to reap benefits within a short period.

Preparation

This stage will depend on the route you decided to follow in seed selection. When you choose to start off with small plants, you will need containers which are at least six inches deep. You can also opt to have one large container housing several plants as long as the necessary spacing is in place. As for seeds, you can start off with one container as you wait for them to germinate. Once they reach heights in the range of two inches going on four, you can then move them to individual containers.

Ensure that the containers have adequate holes for use in drainage to ensure that the herb’s roots do not sit in water for lengthy periods. You should also place saucers at the bottom of the pots to ensure that the drained water does not get to your sill or furniture.

Soil Preparation

In this method, the best option available to you would be a soil-free mixture. The essence of such a mix is that you get to avoid soil-borne diseases, thus adding to the health of your plant. You also get to benefit from the mixture’s draining abilities. With regular soil sourced from the outdoors, you will face challenges such as compacting over time, and this will hinder efficient drainage.

Planting

If you are using herb plants in cultivation, prepare the pot by filling it with two to three inches of potting mix. Where you are worried that the combination could go through the holes at the bottom, you could create a barrier by using a coffee filter or other porous material. It is essential that the chosen material in place allows water to pass through to avoid issues of water logging.

When removing the herb plants from the pots in which they came, be gentle. Start out by tapping around the tin to loosen the soil particles as this will make it easier for the plant to slide out. Tilt the pot to one side and gently get hold of the plant. Ensure that you loosen the particles around the root and place the herb in the prepared container with the roots facing outward. Finish up the process with some potting mix and leave at least one inch at the top for watering. Wet the earth with some water once you complete the filling process as this will enable the plant to settle.

Seeds, on the other hand, follow a more detailed process. Start by wetting your potting mix before pouring it into a container. There should be a one-inch allowance at the top. For each six-inch tin, use three to five seeds and sprinkle them at the top. Gently cover them with some dry potting mix as you pat them into the ground. Finish by wrapping the tin with a plastic bag as this will aid in the retaining of moisture. Ensure that the soil remains moist as you wait for the seeds to germinate. Once the seedlings come out, you can remove the plastic bag. Watering will continue through the growth stage to ensure that the plants remain healthy. You should look into whether the earth is dry before adding water to the tin. A sunny location will allow your plants to do well and daily rotation helps them grow straight.

Watering

Before watering, stick your finger at least two inches into the earth to check for wetness. If it feels dry, add water to the pot, ensuring that there is water draining out at the bottom. The essence behind this is to ensure that salts get flushed out in the process to avoid accumulation. It is also necessary that you make sure that your herbs do not sit in water for extended periods as this will be detrimental to their health. As such, drain out the water in the saucers on a regular basis.

Pruning

Regular pruning enables your herb to have more leaves over time. However, you should not prune more than a third of your plant as this could hinder growth.

Keep in mind that basil is an annual crop and over time, you will need a replacement. As such, be sure to start the seeding processes early.

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