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Thanks to its aromatic properties, the pretty flowering basil is one of the herbs. Therefore, it is automatically assumed that basil requires nutrient-poor soil. But will its roots find necessary nutrients in it? Hardly likely.

In a nutshell

  • As a heavy feeder, basil needs a lot of nutrients, lean herbal soil is unsuitable
  • a continuously loose, permeable soil with a lot of nutrients is optimal
  • Enrich the soil with compost and regularly fertilize with organic fertilizers, if necessary loosen up with sand and perlite
  • in the pot, compost-based potting soil and regular fertilizing with organic liquid fertilizer is recommended
  • low-nutrient potting soil is only better suited for sowing basil seeds

Heavy feeder - basil

Unlike other types of herbs, which thrive better in very poor soil, basil, scientifically known as Ocimum basilicum, needs a lot of nutrients. So many that it is counted among the group of so-called heavy feeders. It is happy about a nutrient-rich and humus-rich soil right from the start. After the end of the previous year's season, however, the garden beds are more or less exhausted. Therefore, before planting in May, preferably a month before, the soil must be improved with mature compost.

Tip: Before planting, loosen the soil and remove all weeds so that they do not later snatch any nutrients from the herb.

Substrate for pot culture

In the pot, the royal herb, as this plant is also called, roots best in compost-based potting soil. If you have bought a herb pot in the trade, the potting soil is usually quite exhausted. Repot basil into nutrient-rich soil soon. Also make sure that no more than 5-10 shoots grow per pot. If necessary, divide the contents into two or more pots.

Fertilize the soil continuously

A starter feed, no matter how rich, is never enough to meet the demands of this herb for the entire growing season. Since the necessary nutrients must not be missing from sowing to flowering, fertilization must be carried out continuously.

  • fertilize the bed from May to September
  • weekly with compost
  • alternatively with horn shavings
  • granulated cattle manure is also ideal (possibly additionally)
  • in the pot do not fertilize 4-6 weeks after planting
  • then fertilize weekly
  • with an organic liquid fertilizer
  • do without artificial fertilizers in beds and pots

Tip: The basil herb also appreciates a thin layer of coffee grounds. This natural fertilizer provides nitrogen and keeps snails away. It should be free of charge in almost every household.

Other quality features of the earth

The soil for basil must be loose and permeable so that no waterlogging can form. If it does not have this quality, its structure must be optimized with sand or perlite before planting or direct sowing. Then rainwater and excess irrigation water can drain off more quickly. The ideal pH level for this herb is 6.5 to 7.5.

Potting soil for sowing

An exception can and should only be made for sowing. In nutrient-poor potting soil, the royal herb germinates reliably and stays healthy. But as soon as the plantlets have formed a few pairs of leaves, they must receive the necessary nutrients. Then basil can either be planted out in the garden or needs a new pot and new soil.

Can I use herbal soil for basil?

No. Herbal soil is a special mixture with few nutrients. It is ideal for herbs that need lean substrate. This consuming herb would wither in it.

Does basil grow in a herb spiral?

Yes. However, you should give this herb a spot at the top or at least in the middle of the spiral so it gets enough sun and no wet roots. You must also not forget to use nutrient-rich substrate in its place and then to fertilize it regularly and in a targeted manner.

Why shouldn't I fertilize the substrate with minerals?

The basil herb is usually not planted as a pure flower, but as a culinary herb. Since its leaves are eaten by us, they should be of organic quality. This includes growing the herb in a substrate that is only supplied with a natural fertilizer.

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