Growing tender basil

Asked July 23, 2016, 2:18 PM EDT

I buy beautiful basil plants and plant them in my herb garden, After several weeks it seems that all the leaves become crinkled and slightly bitter instead of the smooth, tender and flavorful leaves on the plant originally. I try to keep them trimmed back hoping that the new growth will be better but that does not seem to work. The plants get about 8 hours of sun. Could they need more water? Thanks for your help. David Dempsey

Macon County North Carolina

1 Response

Yes, it sounds like it needs more water. Under normal growing conditions, such plants usually require about 1 inch of rainfall per week. However, with the extreme heat it will probably need watered at least 2-3 times/week. Also, if the plant is in any kind of raised bed, pot, or other container, then it will tend to dry out quicker. The type of soil can also determine the amount of watering needed. For example, the darker, more humus soils tend to dry out more quickly, especially when in a container.
As your plant becomes more established, it will become better abled to cope with these conditions.

I hope this is helpful.