Put ample amount of soil to your chosen pot. Leave at least a quarter of an inch between the soil and the rim of the pot. Drench with water so it's ready to provide the right environment for seeds to germinate.
Drop at least 5 seeds into the pot. Cover them lightly with some soil.
To ensure high germination rate, cover the pot with plastic to keep the moisture. Spray some water on one side of the plastic. Make sure the moist side faces inside. Secure the plastic with a rubber band.
Keep the environment moist by spraying water twice daily.
Remove the plastic wrap when the sprouts start to emerge (around 5-8 days). Keep the soil moist by watering lightly twice daily early in the morning (before 10am) and late afternoon (3-5pm).
Once the four true leaves emerge, you can pluck out weak seedlings to either discard them or transfer to a different pot. This process is called thinning. Thinning allows for only the strongest and healthiest plant to grow. You'll want to keep only one seedling per pot.
Keep the soil moist or damp, but not soaking wet. You can check by sticking your finger an inch deep into the soil. If it feels dry, it's time to water.
Add fertilizer every 14 days after the sprouts first appear. Frequent watering tends to wash out nutrients from the soil. Also, the plant would have already absorbed some of these nutrients already.
If you're using pelletized fertilizers like our Durabloom pellets, don't forget to crush them and sprinkle it on the soil (not on the plant itself). This allows for faster absorption of the nutrients.
When you see flower buds, remove them (and the two pairs of leaves under them) immediately. Flowers blooming create a hormone change which dramatically reduce the flavor of the leaves, as well as reduce the amount of foliage which grows. This is called bolting.
Watch for pests and molds. Basil plants are attractive to Japanese beetles. The best way to control these pests is to remove them by hand.
If your plants show signs of mold growth, they may not be getting adequate sunlight, or they may be too close together. Weed out the smaller plants to give the larger ones more space.You can discard them or transfer them to another pot.
As the plant matures (2-3 months), cut the top two pairs of leaves once a stalk reaches a reasonable height. Make sure you cut right above the pair of leaves immediately below it.
You will now be able to use these basil leaves as part of dishes like pizzas or curries; or in drinks such as mojitos or a lemon basil spritzer.