How Far Apart To Plant Basil? Basil Spacing Guide

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How Far Apart To Plant Basil

If you want to know how far apart to plant basil, you are in the right spot. This post discusses how to plant basil, the best spacing for planting basil, and a few tips that can help make growing basil more successful.

How Far Apart To Plant Basil?

If you are planting seeds, you want to space the seeds about every 1/3 of an inch apart. As the seeds sprout and the seedlings begin to develop, you will need to either thin the seeds or transplant the seedling so that they are four-eight inches apart.

Basil plant spacing for Square-Foot Gardening

basil planted one foot apart

There are many options for how close you can plant basil. If you follow square-foot gardening, you should plant four plants to each square foot of garden soil. However, some gardeners will plant a single basil plant for each square foot of garden soil. 

For the best growing results, aim for four basil plants per square foot of gardening soil. The tightness will keep the plants upright without overcrowding. During development, all plants will have enough room and sunlight to thrive. And because basil plants have a shallow root ball, each plant will have good soil for root development.

Can you plant basil close together?

basil planted close together

You can plant basil plants close together. However, if they are too close, the plants will struggle to thrive and remain small with few leaves. The root system of basil plants is around four inches square; that is how much space you should give a basil plant.

If you are planting basil in a pot, aim for a pot that is at least found inches square and four inches deep. Anything smaller, and you will need to fertilize and water more often.

How much space does basil need?

A healthy and thriving basil plant will need about four inches of lateral room and four inches of depth to continue to thrive. When basil plants do not have enough room, one plant may thrive while the other remains weak. Another situation when basil plants are crowded is that they all will remain stunted.

Plant Spacing is Key to Plant Health

Plants require enough space for the root system to develop and enough space for branches to stretch fully. Roots are what keep the plant anchored in the soil and also allow the plant to feed. In addition, branches produce leaves, which produce energy for the plant.

When a basil plant has plenty of root space and branching space, it thrives. It can grow to two feet in height and 18-inches wide. A healthy basil plant will produce a lot of basil. If your goal is to grow a lot of basil, plant spacing is a crucial consideration.

What should not be planted near basil?

basil and tomato plants

Do not plant basil near other herbs. It is much happier in a vegetable garden surrounded by vegetables. Cucumbers are another plant that basil does not like. Herbs that do not get along with basil include fennel, rue, and sage.

If you want to pair basil with other plants in your garden, root vegetables are a good option. For example, Basil and carrots are excellent together, and basil may help to drive off the dreaded carrot fly. Pepper plants and tomato plants are also friendly with basil.

How far apart do you plant basil in a raised bed?

If you plant basil in rows, the rows should be around 18 inches apart. That spacing will allow mature plants to stretch out. Also, if you pinch basil, it will grow laterally (wider), allowing the plant to produce more leaves.

In rows, basil plants should be four to eight inches apart. Four inches is the bare minimum as it will allow the plant to thrive. If you have extra room, space the plants eight inches apart and allow them to bush out in all directions.

Does basil like to be crowded?

thriving basil plant

Basil does not like to be crowded. It likes its own space. As a gardener, you have choices. If you have 100 basil plants, you can most likely afford to have them a little closer together. If you have three basil plants, you want to give them room to grow. The closer your plant basil, the more it will struggle to thrive. A tall and slender basil plant will produce few leaves and try to flower as soon as possible.

When you space basil plants four-eight inches apart, you give the best environment to thrive. A basil plant that thrives produces more leaves. Leaves are what we want basil plants to produce.

How do I make my basil bushy?

To make basil bushy, you must pinch it. The goal is to pinch the plant back by pinching off the top growth so that the growth hormones in the top of the plant will cause the plant to branch and grow wide rather than tall. To pinch basil properly, look under the top cluster of leaves. Then, pinch the plant above the next set of leaves (true leaves) you see and below the apex.

Watch this helpful YouTube video on pruning:

When should I repot basil?

Basil is an annual plant, so unless it is in a small pot, it does not need to be repotted. The proper size pot for basil is a four-inch standard nursery pot. You can, of course, give basil a larger pot. If you have purchased basil from the grocery store, you will notice that there are a lot of leggy plants in the pot. It would help if you repotted those into their pots.

If you give it the proper space and pinch it back, leggy basil will turn into a bushy plant with a lot of leaf growth.

Repotting Seedlings

If you have grown basil from seeds, you can transplant them into their own pot or the garden once the seedlings have three sets of true leaves. Generally, a healthy seedling that is about three inches tall also has three-four sets of true leaves.

Sources

Growing Basil Seeds

Basil Ocimum – CT.gov

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