Like its cousins mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, lavender, and marjoram, basil belongs to the lamiaceae family.
We could write a full chapter explaining why basil is considered the ‘King of herbs’, and why more than a culinary marvel, it is also a medicinal herb, but for that, we advise you to consult Google.
When growing basil on a Tower Garden, we advise you to plant 6 to 8 seeds per rockwool cube. Temperatures must be 20°C/65°F and above for optimum results. However, temperatures above 30°C/85°F might hinder the percentage of successful seedlings. The optimum temperature range for the basil seedling process is 20°C/68°F to 25°C/75°F. However, we advise you to look at the growing advice of your seed provider. In fact, for example, Thai basil can germinate easily above 25°C/75°F.
Although basil is an extremely prolific plant when growing on an aeroponic tower, it takes a little while for the growing process before being able to harvest: 2 to 3 weeks for the germination process (sometimes up to 1 month depending on temperatures and/or variety) and an extra 4 to 8 weeks before being ready for harvest.
When ready to harvest, the entire plant of basil can either be pulled out of the tower with its entire root system, or only leaves or branches can be harvested without compromising the whole plant.
The basil plant will keep on giving new growth for at least 4 to 6 months depending on weather conditions and variety.
Basil can be harvested when it has developed about 10 pairs of leaves.
It is also recommended to pinch off (with your fingers or with scissors) the tip of the stems to promote branching. Regular pinching is instrumental to keep the basil plant from flowering. When the basil plant starts flowering, it signals the end of its growing cycle.
At Agrotonomy Tower Farms, we always leave a few basil plants flowers to attract pollinators: basil flowers are bees magnets!!
Considering that it takes a long time to reach maturity between the seedling process and the initial growing phase, we advise you to fresh-cut your basil and enjoy multiple regular harvests from the same plant.
However, beware, the root system of your basil plant is extremely invasive. When possible, after 8 weeks of growth, pull the plant out of the tower, cut half of the root volume, and plant it back in the tower.
You can easily grow different basil varieties on the same tower: purple basil, cinnamon basil, lettuce leaf basil, Rubin basil, anise basil, African blue basil (which is a hybrid), holy basil (Thai basil).
Whether using basil as a culinary herb (salads, pesto, etc.) or as a medicinal herb (digestion, anti-inflammatory, anti-free radical activity, liver detoxification, etc.), we strongly advise you to include basil in your planting strategy.
From a Tower Farm’s perspective, basil is one of the top cash crops grown commercially, as it is superior in nutrients, antioxidants, and flavonoid values. We do profess the superiority of our basil as a commercial slogan, but rather, we prove it: basil is one of the crops which was extensively tested through the scientific comparative study published on our website. Science doesn’t lie: Tower Garden technology allows us to grow a superior crop when it comes to basil.