Basil is a wonderful herb. It goes well in a variety of different foods. Moreover, you can use it to spice up beverages. However, it’s costly to buy basil leaves at the store. Therefore, you can save a lot of money by planting basil in your own container garden instead. You can use soil, of course. However, is that the best growing medium for basil? Let’s explore.
Growing Basil in Soil
If you assumed that you should plant basil in soil, then you’re not alone. We plant most herbs in soil, after all. This is certainly an option as a growing medium for basil. The Kitchn explains that basil thrives in soil with a neutral pH. While you might add compost at the start of the growing season (which is typically in May), you don’t want to make the soil too rich. If you do, it surprisingly dulls the flavor of the herb itself. Instead, just make sure that you keep the soil moist, but drained well, and let the basil grow.
Alternatives to Soil As Growing Medium for Basil
Soil is a perfectly suitable choice for growing basil. However, if you want your herbs to thrive, then it’s worth exploring other options. Plantsvsnewbies.com explores what happens when you try to grow basil in a teabag, for example, or on a sponge. Here’s what it found:
Grow Basil In a Tea Bag
In this experiment, you would do the following:
- Make a vertical slit at the center of a teabag.
- Add the basil seeds to the tea inside of the bag.
- Close the slit on the teabag.
- Place the entire bag in a water container cover.
- Sprinkle it with cinnamon powder. This helps to prevent fungi.
Grow Basil in a Sponge
Alternatively, you might choose a sponge as a growing medium for basil. Cut a small piece off of a sponge such as a Magic Eraser. Make small slices and set the basil seeds inside. Place the sponge inside of the water container cover.
Conclusion: Best Growing Medium for Basil
After growing the basil in these different options for two weeks, we discover that fungi tend to take over the teabag. Therefore, it’s not the best growing medium for basil. The sponge works better. However, the soil does end up as the best option.
Of course, if this type of experiment intrigues you, then you might want to play around with different water and sun options using the tea bag and sponge to see if you can get better results with them. This type of direct experimentation can help you better understand the plants in your garden.
On the other hand, if you trust the experiment, then you can go ahead and plant your basil in the soil. The Kitchn recommends keeping the plant in the sun for about six hours per day. Plant seeds about one foot apart, water the base (not the leaves) when dry, and plant it alongside chamomile, oregano, peppers, or lettuce for best results. Then enjoy the tasty rewards!
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Kathryn Vercillo is a long time writer, crafter and author of several books. A resident of San Francisco, she is committed to helping others explore, articulate and share their own individuals stories. When she’s not evaluating investing opportunities Kathryn is an avid knitter, researcher, and blogger.