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Basil - Planting, Harvesting, Pests and Diseases

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Starting Seeds: Start basil inside under a grow light in the spring. Harden off the seedlings by placing them outside in their pots for several days. Don’t transplant them into the garden until the soil is warm and there is no threat of frost. Basil is very sensitive to cold.

Planting in Garden: Plant seedlings 12” apart. They will grow very bushy if you pinch off all the apical buds throughout the summer.

Harvest: You can clip off leaves all summer for spicing recipes, then do a big stripping of leaves to make pesto in the fall. You can even dig up and pot a plant to bring inside for fresh basil all fall. In warmer climates, basil can be cut back to the ground in the fall and it will sprout again in the spring.

Pests: Japanese beetles are very attracted to basil and will quickly chew through leaves. Check plants daily. Pick off beetles and drop them into a bucket of soapy water.

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