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How to transplant basil plants in containers on the balcony and terrace, or in the vegetable garden or between perennials in the flowerbeds. Technic

When seedlings are big and strong enough, it’s time to transplant them outside to ensure optimum growth and a plentiful harvest. Either in a container or in the ground: it’s up to you where you want to plant your basil plants.

Transplanting

Because they are tropical in origin, basil plants tend to be sensitive to the cold. In our temperate regions, plants can be grown in containers both indoors and outdoors on a balcony, as well as in open earth – as long as they are sheltered from the wind and receive plenty of warmth and light. Basil plants need light, well-drained and amended soil.

Wait till the end of May to plant your basil plants outside, when frost is no longer a threat and the ground has warmed up enough. Plants should have at least 4-6 leaves. Acclimatize, or ‘harden off’ your plants by taking them outside for a few hours at first, then longer every day. If you bought your plants at the garden centre, transplant them as soon as you get home. In other words, don’t buy your plants until it’s all systems go!

Basil in containers or in the garden

In a container

  1. Wash and disinfect the container.
  2. Put a layer of gravel in the bottom for drainage.
  3. Add a good handful of potting soil and a handful of compost. Mix.
  4. Remove the plant from its store container and gently loosen the root ball so you can extricate the roots without damaging them.
  5. Put the root ball in the middle of your pot and fill in around it with soil.
  6. Water.

Because they are so pretty – the purple basil in particular – you can include basil plants in both vegetable and flower plant arrangements. Plant them together with tomato plants; many believe basil enhances the flavour of tomatoes.

Basil in containers or in the garden

In open ground

  1. Dig a hole larger than the root ball.
  2. If you have heavy soil, lighten it with sand.
  3. Put a handful of compost in the bottom of the hole.
  4. Remove the plant from its store container and gently loosen the root ball so you can extricate the roots without damaging them.
  5. Slide the root ball into the middle of the hole and fill the hole with earth.
  6. Water.
  7. If you are planting several plants, space them 20-30 cm apart to allow them sufficient room to develop.
  8. In the vegetable garden or in your flowerbeds, plant basil next to plants that will benefit from its natural properties, such as cabbage, squash, beans and tomato plants.