What is Half-Hardy Annual?
A plant that completes its entire life cycle (growth, reproduction, death) in one season. Can be grown outdoors but requires winter protection from frosts and temperatures below 0C.
Easy to grow, ideal for windowsill growing, and a favourite with cooks and gardeners worldwide. The pungent leaves with a spicy, clove-like aroma, have a wide range of uses not only in the kitchen but when planted near tomatoes basil improves their flavour and helps deter whitefly. Half Hardy Annual.
Culinary note: Some parts of these flowers are edible. For more details about edible flowers click here.
Patio, Kitchen Garden, Greenhouse
Up to 45cm (17.7in)
Up to 40cm (15.7in)
Easy for all
Easy for all
1 packet (150 basil seeds) (TSG00474)
Sowing Months Flowering Months
When all risk of frost has passed, harden basil plants off before planting out in a sheltered sunny position in well drained, fertile sandy soil; or potting into patio containers, window boxes, or windowsill pots indoors. Water moderately taking care to avoid splashing the leaves. Harvest basil leaves regularly when required to promote fresh new growth and pinch out any flowers that appear to prolong the harvest period. Culinary note: Basil can be dried or frozen for using later on, or added to oils and vinegars for extra flavour.
Where to sow: Start off in a seed tray indoors. Sow all year round for growing indoors or February to June for transplanting outdoors. Sowing: Sow seed on the surface of good free-draining, seed compost. Cover with a fine sprinkling of vermiculite. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a polythene bag and place at 20-25C (68-77F) until after germination which takes 14-21 days. Do not exclude light, as this helps germination. Keep compost on the dry side at all times, water lightly as seedlings emerge. Growing: Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into 7.5cm (3in) pots and continue to grow on indoors in cooler conditions. Acclimatise to outside conditions for 10-15 days before planting out after all risk of frost, 30cm (12in) apart. Plant into vegetable borders or containers. Harvesting: Harvest leaves as required, outdoors May to October, all year round indoors. Tear leaves rather than chop, to retain the aroma. Preserve leaves by freezing or steeping in oil.
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