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Ornamental Basil - Key Growing Information
DAYS TO GERMINATION: 5-10 days at 65-70°F (18-21°C).
SOWING: Direct seed (recommended): Sow in spring when the soil has warmed after the last frost. Sow 2-3 seeds per inch, in rows 18" apart. Firm the soil over the seeds as they have a tendency to work their way upward out of the soil in heavy rains. There is no need to thin, but a 4-8" final spacing produces healthy, full plants. Transplant: Seeds may be sown inside about 6 weeks before setting out. Plant 1/4" deep and keep at 70°F (21°C) for the best germination. Transplant out when seedlings have 3-4 sets of leaves. Space plants 4-8" apart in rows 18" apart.
LIGHT PREFERENCE: Sun.
SOIL REQUIREMENTS: Moderately rich, moist soil. Basil is not drought tolerant and can be damaged by heat stress. Regular moisture throughout the season helps to ensure a good crop.
PLANT SPACING: 4-8".
HARDINESS ZONES: Annual.
HARVEST: Harvest is best done in the early morning when the temperature is cooler and the leaves are less likely to wilt. Leaves are easily bruised when picking, so handle carefully. Do not store at temperatures less than 50°F (10°C).
Fresh: When flowers have begun to open.
Dried: When flowers are completely open. Air dry. This is best done in the early morning when the temperature is cooler and the leaves are less likely to wilt. Leaves are easily bruised when picking, so handle carefully. Do not store at temperatures less than 50°F (10°C).
USES: Cut flowers, bedding plants, and edible flower.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Ocimum basilicum