Basil is one of the most popular herbs, because it looks beautiful, it has a nice fragrance and it's easy to grow. You can use basil in many recipes and that's why, you should also have it in your garden. If you want to grow basil too, than here are some tips that you might find useful.
1. Basil needs a warm and spot where it can grow. Keep it there for 6 to 8 hours every day but give it a shade if you live in a place where the weather is very hot. Basil will enjoy a warm soil and some warm air, so don't plant it when the spring arrives. You can wait two weeks after the last frost and then plant it.
2. Choosing the right container is really not that hard when it comes to basil. You can grow it in anything you like, even something that you have around the house, like a basket. Basil likes to have space and to be wet so choose a bigger container. Don't crowd the plants, but plant them at a distance of 12 to 18 inches apart. Also they need the airflow between them so they don't develop fungus. Even though basil likes humidity, the soil should be moist but not soggy, so make sure the container has a good drainage.
3. Start growing basil from seeds because it's much easier. You have two options: you can direct seed or plant your seeds about a month before the last frost date, inside. To germinate, basil needs light so don't plant it to deep. It will germinate in 5 to 10 days. Move the plants in bigger containers when they have 3 or 4 sets of leaves.
4. To feed and water the basil you must follow some rules. Since this plant doesn't like to be very wet or very dry, make sure it has just enough water by putting your finger in the pot until your second knuckle and if it's a little dry, pour some water. Make sure that the soil you using has a good quality and also use organic fertilizer. Put diluted fertilizer every couple of weeks. If the soil already has fertilizer in it, don't use any more.
5. Harvesting and storing the basil is pretty easy. To have a a bushy plant you must pinch it from time to time. Start doing this from when the plant is about 4 inches tall. You can store the basil as it is and put it later in your food, or make different products like pesto. Another great idea is to mix the basil with olive oil, put it into ice cubes and in the fridge and later add to your stews or soups.