How To Fertilize Basil. 3 Best Considerations

You can learn how to fertilize basil for success by considering three factors, and this article will discuss them shortly. We all know how basil is one of the best crops to grow, whether traditionally or via hydroponics, but one component that gardeners often overlook is its fertilizing requirements. 

The University of Minnesota Extension recommends getting your soil tested to know your basil’s proper fertilizer regimen. Remember that having a list of what your soil needs to grow basil successfully will allow you to use fertilizers optimally. It’s best to get your soil tested first and apply the knowledge below. 

 

How To Fertilize Basil. 3 Best Considerations

How To Fertilize Basil For Success

 

When growing seedlings

As mentioned earlier, there are three considerations when fertilizing basil, and the first one is you can feed when growing them as seedlings. A balanced liquid fertilizer should support seedlings’ growth, and you can provide this once a week. However, be mindful of your crops’ leaves since if they turn brown, you are probably overfertilizing and burning your plants. 

How does one avoid the risk of overfertilizing basil? Doing a soil test is best because you can find out the quality and nutrients of the medium. Therefore, you might not even need to fertilize the basil seedlings, or amending the soil with compost during planting can suffice. 

 

When transplanting

Another consideration to remember when learning how to fertilize basil is during transplanting. Some gardeners often start basil plants indoors if the conditions outside will be challenging to root the plants. And to further help with the establishment, you can incorporate fertilizer into the soil during transplanting. 

You may also benefit from feeding with dry fertilizer at least once during the growing season to support healthy basil plants. If you have just planted seedlings in the garden, all-purpose fertilizer will help basil every two weeks. However, do note that caution is necessary with dry fertilizer because they can burn the leaves upon contact. 

Clemson Cooperative Extension even recommends fertilizing two months after planting basil if you notice that the plants are pale green and growing slowly. The extension recommends side dressing with calcium nitrate in addition to watering and mulching. The rate is ¼ pound for every 100 square feet. 

 

For indoor growing

You can also grow basil with other crops in the greenhouse, but you have to remember that fertilizing indoor basil will be a different regimen than growing outdoors. You must provide a balanced liquid fertilizer at half the amount of what you use in the garden and feed twice a week. 

What about those growing container basil plants? Those who grow indoors can feed once every four weeks, but this can be more frequent if you have the pots outdoors. More so, the ideal fertilizer for container basil is water-soluble that you will dilute before pouring onto the soil. 

 

How To Water Basil

Now that you know how to fertilize basil, it’s only right that you also learn how to water basil correctly. Like other green leafy crops, you can assume that moist soil is essential to growing green and productive basil plants. However, you have to be mindful of this practice because watering incorrectly can wet the leaves and foliage. 

 

Method

This will encourage mildew and other fungal diseases that can affect your plants. Therefore, aim to water at the base instead of the top of the plants. If you have a greenhouse, avoid overhead irrigation, and those growing in the garden should skip high-pressure watering equipment that can erode the ground. 

A watering technique appropriate for basil is by thoroughly soaking them slowly. You can use a soaker hose or a watering can to moisten the soil. And since they are slow-running and low-pressure, you don’t run the risk of waterlogging the ground that can kill the basil plants. 

 

Timing

You don’t have to water during the rainy season because overwatering is detrimental to basil plants. Check if the top 2 inches of the soil is dry before watering. More so, aim to water early in the morning to ensure that the plants will dry up when the cold night temperatures happen. 

 

How To Prune Basil

You can grow basil in the greenhouse to maintain the ideal growing environment and produce healthy plants. However, you can also do another maintenance practice to encourage the productivity of basil. Basil will benefit from pruning to create more leaves, and you can do this when you saw the first six leaves. 

You can continue this practice on the branches with six leaves and prune back to the first leaf set. Some gardeners also pinch the center shoots to prevent the flowering of your new plants. Otherwise, you can cut the flowers off. 

 

Conclusion

When it comes to popular herbs, perhaps the top picks would always include basil. But to have an excellent yield of green herbs, you must know how to fertilize basil and remember the three considerations. For example, you can feed seedlings to support their growth using a balanced fertilizer once a week. 

On the other hand, do a soil test when planting or transplanting basil to gauge if you need to fertilize. Sometimes, you can amend the soil with compost or side-dress with calcium nitrate. Lastly, water-soluble fertilizer once every four weeks is optimal when growing basil in containers. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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