How to Plant Ciao Bella Basil from Seed

How to Plant Ciao Bella Basil from Seed:

Without a doubt I love to cook, it just goes hand in hand with being a gardener. It’s March and I am ready to get my hands dirty – so I’ve put together this little project to get the ball rolling on spring. One small step at a time is a good thing. Basil, oregano, parsley, mint – fresh herbs can be used all year long but basil is especially hard to keep. It seems to get shocked when I bring it home from the garden center. It can be sown indoors any time of year and it is the perfect little project to get started right now. I have chosen Ciao Bella Basil, a micro green variety of basil. Here are a few guidelines for success with seed planting.

1.     Basil seeds need a consistent temperature of 70-75 degrees to germinate. This temperature varies depending on the seed.
2.     I’m going to use my new glass cloches and small wood terrariums to keep the seedlings warm as well as a heat mat. (fig. 4 and fig. 5)
3.     Grow lights can be used as well. I will have my seedlings in my warm, light filled sunroom instead of grow lights.
4.     Use the right dirt. I am using organic seed starter as well as a bit of Coast of Maine brand lobster compost. I use this lobster compost all the time and it makes the soil a bit richer to ensure success.
5.     You can also create the soil mix yourself: equal parts potting soil, perlite, and vermiculite should give you some good results.
6.     Small seed containers work well to plant in, or I used small terracotta pots. (fig. 1, fig. 2, fig. 3)
7.     Spray bottle with water to gently mist your seedlings.

Enjoy watching your seeds grow, one packet of seeds goes a long way. So start off slow. I am always tempted to buy a ton of seeds. I suggest if you are new to this – start off with one or two of your very favorite seeds. Read the packet before you purchase. While Ciao Bella Basil can be started indoors anytime of year, many seeds are meant to start indoors first then transfer to your garden outdoors. For instance for flowers, the seed packet will tell you to plant seeds 6 to 8 weeks before last frost date. The expected last frost date in the Boston area, is around May 10, 2017.

Growing seedlings takes up quite a bit of space so plan the area that you will have your seedlings. Remember to keep your seedlings near by in your home and whatever you do, don’t forget to water! Once you have success with this little seed project – let me know how it goes.

Don’t forget to check the Verde Cosi shop for new products, we are adding them everyday!

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Suzanne Luby Ahrens