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11 Reasons to Grow Basil in Your Garden

One of the easiest plants you could ever grow is the basil. Additionally, it has medicinal benefits, partners well with other plants, beautifies our herb garden, attracts useful insects, and can be planted in multiple places among other benefits.

Reasons to grow basil.

Planting basil is like setting up our gardens for success, from the smell to the help it gives other plants and, of course, the flavor it lends to a myriad of dishes. I truly enjoy planting it and so will you.

As you read through this list of reasons for planting basil, you’ll see why I am so passionate about this herb. 

11 Reasons to Grow Basil In Your Garden

There are so many reasons to grow basil but I’ve chosen 10 and placed them in the order that I believe is most significant. I firmly believe these will let you start planting basil by tomorrow. Happy reading and planting!

1. Basil Attracts Useful Bugs & Repels Destructive Ones

A basil flower buds with bees.

If you like to see butterflies and bees buzzing around your garden as I do, then that’s where basil comes in. They find it quite welcoming.

If you want to encourage beneficial insects and pollinators into your garden, you should let your basil flower, as the blossoms attract them.

Tomato hornworms are deterred by basil, making it an excellent plant for growing alongside tomatoes. In addition, it serves as an efficient repellant for mosquitoes, which is something we could all use more of.

Pests such as asparagus beetles, and flies, among other insects, are all repelled by basil, so it’s clear that it’s a valuable addition to your garden.

2. Basil Grows Easily

Healthy basil plants in the garden.

With its great flavor and numerous health advantages, basil is one of the most versatile herbs in the kitchen.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-grow plant, basil is your best bet. Make careful to wait till after your final frost date before sowing this variety.

Early spring indoors and late spring outside is when I plant basil so that I have it all summer long.

Since basil is an annual, it thrives swiftly. It can be harvested in as little as three to four weeks from the time it is sown. Beginner gardeners will like this fast-growing plant. Growing Basil from Seed.

Typically, gardeners begin basil seedlings indoors before the blooming season begins. Between four and eight weeks ahead of the final frost date, you could start planting basil seeds indoors.

As a result of its adaptability, basil thrives in a wide range of climates and soil types. Once the growth circumstances are the same, you can grow basil in a beautiful pot indoors just as effectively as you can outside.

3. Basil Makes a Great Companion 

This one will be a little long but well worth it, so keep reading!

As a companion plant in the garden, basil is the best. If you want to keep pests at bay and boost the growth of your other plants, this is the herb for you. Which of the following plants do you think would do well next to basil? What about the ones you should avoid?

The following foods pair well with basil:

Tomatoes

Basil and tomato in the garden.

It’s hard to go wrong with growing basil and tomatoes together as a companion plant. There’s a solid reason that these two varieties have mostly been cultivated together for so long.

Due to their shared love of direct sunlight as well as good soil, tomato plants are excellent friends with basil in the garden. 

The Tomato Hornworm, as well as other pests, are deterred by the presence of basil. Keep these pests out of your tomatoes, and you’ll see an increase in both their productivity and quality.

Tomatoes are supposed to taste better if they are paired with basil. Try growing some purple tomato types with basil in your garden.

Potatoes

It is also a great idea to grow potatoes with basil. It’s not just that basil and potatoes taste excellent together, but that they thrive well together too.

The potato crop grows better with the help of basil. In addition to helping to ensure a healthy and abundant potato yield, this buddy plant can provide visual appeal and a flavorful herb choice for our garden.

Planting potatoes in your garden will draw butterflies and bees, as well as other pollinators.

Bell Peppers

Basil and pepper in the garden.

Peppers, like tomatoes, make an excellent complement to basil. Sowing them together can increase the essence of both plants because they both thrive in the sun.

Pests such as spiders, fleas, mosquitoes, and flies are all deterred by basil plants, making them a great companion for pepper gardens.

It’s possible to grow basil with the aid of a bell pepper leaf, offering a bit of cover and protection from the elements.

Asparagus

Asparagus beetles, which can wreak havoc on newly sprouting asparagus tips, are similarly deterred by basil.

Asparagus and basil both flourish in bright light, making them an ideal match for each other.

Ground Produce

For the best results, pair your basil with root veggies like carrots or beets. These vegetables benefit from the presence of basil, which can help them grow and taste better.

On the leafy green tops of root vegetables, soil burrowing insects are very frequent. Natural pest management can be achieved by using the basil plant’s aroma to dissuade soil pests.

The Advantages of Planting Companions:

Enhanced Plant Growth and Health

Healthy vegetables in the garden.

Adding companion plants to your garden can help your plants grow and thrive. Plants can benefit from one another’s nutrients, moisture, and shadiness when they are cultivated together.

Using Natural Means to Prevent Pest Infestation

Companion planting has the added benefit of aiding in pest management through organic means. Creating a buffer zone against pests and illnesses is easier when a variety of plants are cultivated together.

Beneficial Insects are Drawn to it

Holy basil in the garden with bees.

Additionally, numerous gardeners argue that companion planting might entice beneficial insects, including beetles and butterflies. These pest-controlling insects can be beneficial in the garden.

Enhances the Fertility and Quality of Soil

Soil quality can also be improved through companion planting. Adding organic material to the earth improves its fertility when various plants are cultivated together.

The Flavor of Vegetables is Improved

A healthy basil plants in the garden.

Lastly, the taste of veggies can be enhanced by companion planting. The flavors of veggies are increased when they are cultivated near each other.

Provide Growth Indicators

Because plants develop at varying speeds, it’s possible to keep account of how everything is thriving in the garden by mixing fast-growing crops with slow-growing ones. A big garden or many different types of the same plant benefits greatly from this.

Don’t Forget to Provide Shade

A taller plant can shield shorter plants from the sun’s rays, allowing them to stay cooler or even avoid sunburns. In the height of summer, it’s critical to provide some shade from the intense heat.

4. Basil is Quite Forgiving

If you’re like me when I first started planting, I would forget to water the plants ever so often. Thankfully, growing basil made me look like a pro as it wouldn’t wilt after I forgot to water it or give it enough sunshine on occasion. 

Please, do not be as horrible as I was, but just keep in mind that if you’re a newbie to gardening, this is the perfect herb, to begin with. It 

5. Space Doesn’t Matter When Planting Basil

Variety of herbs in pot next to windowsill.

Understandably, not all gardeners have access to a vast plot. Basil is the ideal plant to grow for this reason. It’s easy to cultivate in a pot, so it’s perfect for a porch or balcony.

Even on the balcony of our apartment!  I’ve been growing basil for years and started inside my shared apartment. Then to my apartment balcony. 

Now, it’s in my backyard every year. So, we have no excuse, whether it’s a pot on the window or a few on the balcony. Just start with what you have in terms of space.

6. Basil Grows Indoors and Outdoors

Thai sweet basil in the garden.

When it comes to herbs, basil is among the few that genuinely flourishes in a pot. If you don’t have a garden but still want fresh herbs, this is the solution for you. 

Basil thrives on a sunny windowsill or countertop as well.

As soon as the weather warms up a bit, I bring my basil outside and put it in a pot on a window sill.

7. Basil Varieties are Plentiful

Beautiful sweet basil in the garden.

The sweet basil plant, Ocimum basilicum, is the most common cultivar of the 50-150 different types of basil that have been identified. Some are crossbreeds between different species of basil, while others are purebreds. Species identification in the basil family is notoriously difficult.

When it comes to basil, our preference is for the sweet kinds commonly used in Italian cooking. Thai basil, spicy bush kinds, lime, lemon, and cinnamon are some you may find intriguing.

Most Common Basil Type

Generally speaking, supermarkets stock the most common kind of sweet basil. You’ll likely be using sweet basil if your recipe doesn’t indicate which variety to use. 

The leaves of this basil variety are glossy and dark green, and they have a sweet flavor with a hint of spice. Caprese salads are delicious with pesto or a pesto-based sauce.

8. Basil Is Nourishing

Besides being wonderful, basil is also a great source of nutrition! Traces of magnesium, copper, calcium, and manganese are found in abundance in this herb.

That sounds like an excellent excuse to consume more pesto and incorporate it into your home-cooked meals.

9. Basil Makes Our Skin Healthy

A woman smelling basil plants.

Basil, similar to rose hips, is excellent for the skin because of its anti-aging properties. Get those benefits by making this divine-sounding anti-aging face lotion or this basil lime body scrub!

Fresh basil can also be used to make soap. Soaps made with tomato and basil are delicious, as is soap made with lemon and basil. They almost make me want to eat them!

10. Basil Has Medicinal Benefits

Basil as medicinal ingredients.

Basil is a nutrient powerhouse, but it also boasts a long list of health advantages. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, it also serves as a potent analgesic. It is both a digestion enhancer and a potent antioxidant.

Basil’s natural oils, such as citronellol, linalool, and eugenol, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate pain. As a result of these anti-inflammatory characteristics, arthritis and other inflammatory disorders can be reduced.

Using basil as a treatment for colds and flu is a good idea because it is antibacterial and antiviral. When you’re feeling under the weather, brew yourself a drink of basil tea.

Basil is also a great ingredient to use in natural cleaning products that you make yourself at home. Women who are pregnant are advised to resist ingesting excessive amounts of basil for medicinal purposes, but they can eat it in little amounts for cooking.

11. Basil Beautify Our Gardens

A dark opal basil in the garden.

Have you ever seen flowering basil? Look at the wonderful example below!

Basil comes in a wide variety of colors and shapes, and some of them are very stunning. I’m particularly fond of the red and purple varieties! Other interesting basil varieties to try are holy and Thai basil.

The herb garden will be much more beautiful if a few of your basil is allowed to blossom.

Basil Explained

One of the most commonly used herbs in the kitchen is basil, which is known for its strong aroma and flavor. Since pesto, a blend of Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and of course, basil became famous, basil has been one of the most well-known plants.

The leaves of basil, which are generally pointed, are spherical. Some cultivars have a tinge of crimson or purple, although most are green in hue. Basil resembles peppermint in appearance, which isn’t strange given their shared botanical ancestry.

In terms of look and flavor, basil comes in a plethora of variants. Other types of basil, such as lemon basil, cinnamon basil, anise basil, and mint basil, all have distinct flavors that reflect their names. Ocimum basilicum is basil’s scientific name.

History of Basil

Basil was originally native to India, Asia, and Africa, but it has now spread to many parts of the world. Italian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Laotian cuisines all use it heavily in their dishes.

Named after the ancient Greek term basilikohn, which means “royal,” basil reflects the ancient culture’s reverence for a herb they regarded as a sacred and noble source of nourishment. 

Other cultures have continued to appreciate basil in the same way. Basil was revered as a symbol of hospitality in India and love in Italy.