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Basil is a tropical herb, and plants need sun and heat to thrive. Give it a spot that receives six to eight hours of sun daily, except in the South and Southwest, where afternoon shade is a must.
Basil needs moist, nutrient-rich soil that drains well. Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the best growing environment possible: If you plan to plant basil in in-ground planting beds, mix 3 inches of aged compost-enriched Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose In-Ground Soil into the top 6 inches of soil where your basil patch will be. Fill containers with Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose Container Mix, which also contains compost but is lighter and fluffier than garden soil-perfect for pots. In raised beds, blend equal parts of in-ground soil and container mix, or use Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® Raised Bed Mix.


The fastest way to reach harvest time when growing basil is to plant young plants, such as the vigorous, productive ones from Bonnie Plants®. You can actually begin harvesting immediately after planting!
If you would prefer to grow seeds, sow them directly into soil outdoors after all danger of frost has passed, or start seeds indoors about six to eight weeks before your region’s average last frost date, using Miracle-Gro® Seed Starting Potting Mix. Sow basil seeds one-half inch deep, placing 3 seeds per seed-starting cell. Germination takes 7 to 14 days. After the first set of true leaves appear (these will be teardrop-shaped), thin seedlings by using scissors to snip off all but the strongest seedling in each cell. If necessary, transplant seedlings into larger containers until they’re ready to go into the garden. In the garden, space plants 12 to 18 inches apart, depending on variety. If starting seeds directly in the garden, sow seeds one-half inch deep, one inch apart, and thin to 12-18 inches apart after the first set of true leaves appears. If growing in a pot, choose a 12-inch container or larger.
Water well after planting.

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