Basil is a popular kitchen herb that goes well with many different dishes, such as pizza, pasta or even in a fresh salad. But everyone knows it: you buy a pot of basil in the supermarket and although you water regularly, the leaves wilt quickly and the plant is no longer usable. We give tips on how to keep your basil fresh longer.
Why does basil from the supermarket wilt so quickly?
In itself, it is not surprising. Basil from the supermarket has been grown up for quick consumption. To do this, the plants already had to survive a too cold transport. Basil also needs a lot of nutrients, the pots from the supermarket are much too small, for so many shoots. Basil also needs a lot of nutrients, the pots from the supermarket are much too small, for so many shoots. With the right care, however, your basil will last a long time.
After the purchase: tips to keep your basil fresh longer
The pots from the supermarket are much too small for the basil plant. Therefore, it is recommended to repot the basil directly. To do this, take the basil out of the plastic pot, divide it into two or three parts and repot them together with quality potting soil. Herbal soil is not recommended in this case, as it is very low in nutrients.
The location is also important: since basil usually comes from the south, the herb plant should be placed in a sunny place, for example, by the window. You should only place basil on the balcony after the Ice Saints. The plant feels most comfortable at a temperature of 20°C. At temperatures below 12°C basil will not grow and in winter the plant should be placed in a sunny place indoors, otherwise it will die.
Care for basil, this is how to do it:
Watering basil properly
Basil care starts with watering. Therefore, you should follow these tips:
- Always keep basil moist and water regularly.
- Avoid waterlogging, as this can lead to mold growth
- Do not water over the leaves, but directly over the soil. Especially when the sun is shining, the leaves can otherwise burn
- Water at room temperature
Fertilize basil correctly
Basil needs a lot of nutrients, so you should fertilize the kitchen herb regularly:
- In a pot, basil should be fertilized every one to two weeks
- If you have planted your basil in the garden, every four to six weeks is sufficient.
- For fertilizing it is best to use organic fertilizers.
Pruning basil correctly
Plucking the leaves can affect the growth of the plant, so it is very important to follow these tips when plucking the leaves:
- Cut instead of picking: You should not pick the basil leaves, but cut them with scissors or a sharp knife.
- The cut should be made just above the leaf node, so that new twigs can sprout in the same place.
- Avoid picking individual leaves
- The best time to cut basil is in the morning or after watering
As you can see, basil needs a little care to last. If you ever harvest too much basil, you can wrap it in a damp kitchen towel and the leaves will stay fresh for three to four days. Alternatively, you can freeze the basil in a freezer bag.