So you want to know how to grow basil indoors? Good! Starting your own indoor herb garden is a great homesteading way to stay nourished with flavorful dishes, no matter the weather or time of year!
Growing Basil Indoors for a Homesteader's Indoor Herb Garden
You'll need to carefully watch the soil, the container, the sunlight and water needs, the fertilizer, and the prunin of the basil plant. Keep reading for all the details.
The Basil's Soil – Indoor Herb Garden
image via samir bharadwaj
Growing basil indoors means that you'll have to use a pot or container, which can make maintaining proper moisture levels a challenge. Basil thrives in soil that drains well, so you will want to use soil that prevents standing water. Use a coarse-textured growing mix instead of your ordinary garden soil. Also, make sure pots provide adequate drainage. Refrain from lining the bottom of your pot with gravel or rocks. Contrary to popular belief, this will not improve drainage but it will certainly inhibit plant growth.
Healthy pH levels are another important aspect of quality soil. Sufficient pH levels are usually between 6.0 and 7.5. Check the pH of your soil about once a month or every four to six weeks for optimal growth.
The Basil's Container – Indoor Herb Garden
Plastic containers work well if you leave in a cooler climate because they retain heat. They are also light and inexpensive. Clay pots are also excellent choices but they are porous so you might have to water more often if you use these.
The Basil's Sunlight and Watering Needs | Indoor Herb Garden
via bonnie plants
For optimal growth, basil should receive 6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day.
Check your soil for moisture every other day to determine whether or not your basil needs some watering. If your soil is dry, water at the base of the plant until the soil is wet to a depth of about 1½ inches.
Prune your basil several times throughout the season. This will encourage new growth and is especially important if using the herb for culinary purposes. You can start pruning your basil after they have grown at least 6-8 inches. To prune, cut a stem just above a pair of leaves. Leaflets next to the topmost leaves are then converted into new stems.
via MG Home
For indoor basil, use a low potency fertilizer and apply more frequently, perhaps every 3-4 weeks. Mix 5-10-5 liquid fertilizer with water at half the recommended strength. Apply the fertilizer solution to the base of the plant and never on the leaves or stems.
It is best to place the herb as close to a window as possible. However, if this is not possible, these potted plants may need to be grown under fluorescent lights. Basil can thrive indoors with artificial light. The least expensive (and a very energy efficient) option is fluorescent grow lights.
That’s all, fellow homesteaders! Did you enjoy this tutorial on growing basil indoors? Let us know in the comments section below what you thought of this tutorial on growing basil indoors. Do you have a favorite method for growing basil indoors that’s a staple on your homestead? Share it with us and we’ll give it a shot.
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