Best Tips For Growing Holy Basil (Tulsi)
Holy basil, also called Tulsi or Sacred Basil is an ancient variety, it has highly aromatic, narrow oval leaves and pink flowers with a perfumed fragrance. It is often called “queen of the herbs”. This herb is native to India where it is regarded as sacred plant and worshiped. It is the most important plant used in Ayurvedic medicine.
Holy Basil is propagated by seeds.Start seeds in late march if sowing outdoors. You can sow seeds any time if the plant is to be kept in the house ( indoor)
Sow enough seeds in pot so that there is at least 2 – 3 saplings after taking out weaker ones . Cover with 6mm of compost mixed soil . Basil usually germinates in one or two weeks at temperature around 22° C (70°F). Holy Basil seeds take longer to germinate than other varieties. Buy good quality seeds for growing tulsi.
Soil / Preparing Site
If growing outdoors, Basil likes a fertile well dug and aerated soil. You can add organic compost or manure (cow dung) into the soil to make the soil fertile. Before sowing seeds ensure that the compost or soil is weed free and moist.
In case of pot or container use medium to large sized container as Tulsi grows in every direction due to its bushy nature. Make sure container is having sufficient number of holes to ensure smooth drainage of water out of the container.
This tender perennial is usually grown as an annual but can be successfully grown indoors throughout the year.
Basil can be grown indoors on a sunny windowsill or outdoors in containers or soil. It should be grown in a position that receives sunlight for around 6 to 8 hrs a day. The dark varieties need a significant amount of full sun to achieve their deep and distinctive coloration. Position the plants in a sheltered spot that avoids cold winds.
Water basil plant daily in hot months. Keep soil moist but not soggy. In winter you can cut down watering to 2-3 times a week.
Use a general purpose compost or fertilizer once in a month to ground or pots. You can use farm manure like cow dung, dried leaves etc too to enrich soil. It will help plant in providing essential nutrients.
Harvesting is best done in the early morning when the temperature is cooler and the leaves are less likely to wilt. Harvest the top most leaves first, new leaves will come again. To encourage regrowth basil should be harvested periodically. A full harvest should be done just promote a second growth. Cut the entire plant 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 in) above the ground to promote a second growth.
After harvesting freeze the Holy basil leaves to preserve the flavor and color better way. One can simply strip and clean the leaves on baking sheets before transferring them to bags.
Alternatively , chop the leaves with olive oil and freeze in bags. You can also process the leaves with olive oil or a little water and freeze initially in ice cube trays, then transfer them to bags.
Read Also : Grow Raat Rani at Home.
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