If you have outdoor space and you want to grow basil outside then you surely can do it. Basil is a sun-loving plant and so it will love to grow in your outdoor garden. But you know you can’t control the environment outside and your basil may even die during cold days.
So when to plant the basil outside?
At least 50°F or 10°C is needed as it is a considerable warmth to put your basil plant outside. But the preferable warmth is 70°F or 21°C for the best growth of the plant, so it’s better to put it outside then. Besides this, if you are transplanting basil seedlings wait for them to grow at least 3 inches tall.
With the proper condition of your plant and environment, you can plant this popular herb outside when the time is right. So what is the right condition? When the time is perfect for outside planting? These questions are rising into your mind, right?
Well, don’t worry I am here with the answers. In this article, I will give you guidance about outside basil planting. So, let’s dig in deeper.
Right conditions to transplant the basil outside
Well, you know all the basic requirements for your basil like adequate sunlight, moist soil, liquid fertilizer, and so on. These things you certainly have to follow strictly but when you are putting the basil outside, the scenario is a little bit different. But how, right?
Okay, so let me tell you when you are growing basil indoors you can move the pot under sunlight or remove the pot from sunlight when it is done. Then you can save it from cool wind or put it in a warm place. But it is nothing like that in the outdoor garden.
In the outdoors, you neither can control the temperature, not the sunlight. That’s why you have to wait for the right time and season for planting your basil outside. So let’s move forward to know the right conditions for planting your basil outside.
Plant basil when the temperature is appropriate
As we have said earlier, basil can’t endure cold weather and always crave warm weather. The temperature should be at least 50°F or 10°C. If the temperature starts to fall beyond this limit, your basil may get damaged and even can cause death if it continues to stay in that temperature.
Though basil can survive at 50°F, it is not perfect for the faster growth of basil. For the faster growth of basil, the temperature should be 70°F or more than that. But make sure the temperature shouldn’t be more than 80°F otherwise your basil will grow slowly. However, you should wait until the temperature of the soil rises to 60°F or 16°C at least for transplanting.
Besides that, basils grow best when the daytime temperature is 70°F and the nighttime temperature is more than 50°F. You should also take care of the fact that the temperature should not fall below 50°F or 10°C at night.
Here I have added a temperature chart so that you can know what will happen to your basil at different temperatures.
Damage due to frost and will die soon
A few damages like a black spot on leaves and will die if it continues to stay in for a long period.
Perfect soil temperature for putting basil outside.
Perfect for the growth of the basil
At this rate, your basil will grow slowly
Plant basil where it can receive the right amount of sun
Many gardeners have certainly said that sunlight is a crucial element for growing basil. I also agree with that but do you know that too much of anything is not a good thing, right? Basil needs 5 to 6 hours of sunlight per day.
However, what will happen if your basil gets too much sunlight continuously? Well, the answer is simple. It will get a sunburn, like us. There will be brown color spots on your basil leaves or the color of the basil leaf. The soil will dry out quickly. As a result, your basil will wilt or started drooping.
So, make sure there is not too much sun exposure for your basil. Besides that, try to put the plant in a sunny spot avoiding the harsh afternoon sun rays. It is not good for the basil plant. Try to give the plant morning hours bright light as much as possible.
Prepare your basil before planting outside
The right time to transplant your basil seedling is then when your young plant is strong enough to cope with the outer world. Basil is sensitive to sunlight and moisture. So, prepare your plant to tolerate the outer world’s mood swings for not to die immediately due to an adverse condition.
So let’s move forward to know what you can do to prepare your basil.
Solidify your basil plant
Most of the basil varieties don’t have any wooden structure. They are soft and need to be solidified if you grow them indoors from basil from seed.
You need to put your basil outside for a few hours regularly when you are growing it from the basil seeds inside. Slowly increase the hours of putting it outside. You need to put it outside under the sunlight for at least 2 to 3 weeks while growing it inside. By doing this your plant will learn to cope up with the midday sunlight.
Besides that, you have to lessen the amount of water. It means you can’t water the plant until the soil is fully dried out below the surface. It is necessary so that your plant can thrive for a few days without water.
Also, leave the plant outside for 2 or 3 days for the whole night before planting. Just make sure there is no frost and the plant is placed against a south-facing wall. This way your plant will be strong enough to face the outside world.
Wait until your basil grow true leaf
If you plant your basil too early when the true leaves are not grown yet, it can harm the future growth of the plant. The plant should be strong enough to handle the aftershock of planting like facing the direct sunlight, rough weather, and so on.
Many gardeners may have told you to plant your basil after 5 to 6 weeks from the day you plant seeds. But it is better if you plant your basil after it grows some true leaves.
The first set of green leaves that grow out of the ground are the seed’s part and provide foods for the plant. The next pairs of leaves are the plant’s true leaves and you have to wait for this set of fresh leaves to come out to plant your basil outside.
Some basil care tips to keep it alive
- You can grow the annual types of basil that will be mature for reproduction before the frost season so that you can save the basil from frost You should choose some fast-maturing varieties of basil like Cinnamon basil, Kapoor Tulsi, Lime Basil, Mrs. Burns’ lemon Basil, Piccolino, Spicy Bush, Genovese Basil, Sweet Basil, and Sweet Thai Basil. By this, you can plant it during the summer to avoid the spring frost and harvest it faster before the fall frost.
- Make sure to check the weather forecast before putting your basil outside. You should not put your basil outside until the danger of frosts has been passed completely.
- If you have already planted the basil outside without checking the last frost date, then don’t worry. Just cover the plant with a cold frame or cloche.
- Try to cover the basil after 5 or 6 hours of sun exposure. You can use some shade to cover the plant for certain periods. Besides that, cover the plant during the afternoon shade.
- Also, make sure the plants are receiving enough sunlight and watering for having a healthy plant. You are using well-drained soil to keep the soil moist. Space basil to prevent them from fighting for nutrition and you are providing enough fertilizer for them. Choose the best location for it with proper drainage soil.
- Keep pruning the basil to get the bushy growth of basil. Also, clip off the flower buds from the plant as soon as you notice them.
- Finally, it’s better to put your basil outside in the container garden set up despite putting it directly in the ground or garden beds. By doing this you can move the entire plant easily inside and outside as per the requirement. Like during cold nights or hot weather.
Final words for you
Well, we all know that no plant will live forever. But at least we hope to live our plant a little bit longer. We want to get the fresh basil for a little bit longer for our supply of pesto, salads, pizzas, or tomato dishes. So, I hope the information will enough for you to keep your fragrant basil plant alive a little longer. With a little bit of care and attention to our mother nature, you can happily grow basil outside. Happy Gardening!