How to Plant Sweet Basil


If you enjoy using sweet basil in your Italian dishes and other recipes, consider using fresh-picked sweet basil from your garden rather than the store-bought brand. Growing your own sweet basil, whether in a pot or in your garden, is easy and will give you an abundance of this useful, tasteful herb.

In the Garden

Step 1

Prepare the area where you want to plant your sweet basil seeds. Sweet basil prefers at least three to four hours a day of direct sunlight. The soil must be well draining.

Step 2

Add organic compost to the soil where you plan to plant your sweet basil seeds. Sweet basil loves rich humus and loamy soil. If your soil has a high quantity of clay, also mix in some contractor's sand to open the soil for better drainage.

Step 3

Sow your sweet basil seeds by either scattering by broadcasting the seeds over the area you have prepared. You may also make shallow rows to sow the seeds in for a more formal planted area. Plant sweet basil seeds 1/8 inch deep.

Step 4

Cover your sown seeds lightly with organic compost, top soil, or your soil mixture. Keep the soil moist where you have planted the sweet basil seeds until the seeds have germinated and sprouted.

In a Pot

Step 1

Select planting pots that are large, over small planting pots. Larger pots will help keep the moisture in the soil for a longer period of time.

Step 2

Fill the pot with a rich, loamy potting soil mix. Add sand and perlite to increase drainage.

Step 3

Sprinkle your sweet basil seeds on top of the surface of soil. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Plant the sweet basil seeds 1/8 inch deep.

Step 4

Water the soil and seeds in the pot. Continue to keep the soil moist until the seeds have germinated. After the sweet basil seeds have spouted, you may thin the sprouts in your pot so there is two to three inches between each plant. Thinned out seedlings can be transplanted to new planting pots.

Step 5

Place your potted sweet basil in a sunny spot and monitor the soil moisture so the soil does not dry out.

Things You'll Need

  • Sweet basil seeds
  • Organic compost
  • Sand
  • Plant pots


  • All About Sweet Basil
  • How to Grow Sweet Basil

Who Can Help

  • Ways to Use Sweet Basil
Keywords: growing sweet basil, planting basil, growing basil from seeds

About this Author

At home in rural California, Kate Carpenter has been writing articles and web content for several well known marketeers since 2007. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and A Master of Education equivalent from the University of Northern Colorado, Carpenter brings a wealth of diverse experience to her writing.