Basil is a full sun, heat loving crop. Start seeds indoors April 10th - May 1st at a temp of 75° (use heating mat). Days to germination: 5-14. Transplant outside, 10” apart, after nighttime temps are above 50°. Do not let plants become potbound (too big for their pots) because this will stunt plants. Alternatively, sow seeds directly outside early June. Prune young plants to encourage side branching.
Clip stems (with leaves attached) back several inches – do not clip off more than 1/2 of the plant at one time. Frequently clip (harvest) plants to keep them from bolting. Leaves are removed from stems in the kitchen. Sweet Thai basil is more cold hardy than Italian basils and can be harvested up to the fall frost.
Basil seeds need a long, hot growing season so it is somewhat difficult to save seeds here in Southeast MI. Seeds should be left on the plant until they are mature (black). Cut and dry stems in paper bags. Basil plants are insect pollinated and may cross pollinate with other basil varieties. Isolation distance: 150’ should be adequate. Clean seed as a dry seeded crop.