Container Gardening: Best Companion Plants for Basil

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Are you planning to grow basil in a container? Or maybe you have already grown it but are now wondering what else you can plant with it? Basil is undoubtedly one of the most versatile herbs that offers both culinary and medicinal benefits. But did you know that basil also makes an excellent companion plant for other herbs and vegetables?

If growing plants in containers is your preferred method, then planting basil alongside other compatible plants can help create a thriving garden without taking up too much space. However, choosing the right plants to pair with basil requires some knowledge of which ones will complement each other.

In this article, we will explore exciting ideas on what to plant with basil in a container garden. We'll delve into various factors such as soil requirements, sunlight needs, watering frequency and chemical interactions between different species. So sit back and relax as we take an exciting journey through the world of container gardening!

What to Plant with Basil in Container: A Guide

Basil is a versatile and popular herb that's easy to grow and cultivate. It's perfect for container gardening, as it can be grown indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather. But what exactly should you plant with basil in container? In this article, we'll explore some of the best options for companion planting with basil.

The Benefits of Companion Planting

Companion planting is an age-old practice that involves growing different plants together for mutual benefits. When plants are grown together well, they can support each other by:

  • Attracting beneficial insects
  • Repelling pests
  • Providing shade or support
  • Improving soil fertility

By choosing the right plants to grow alongside your basil plant(s), you can enjoy healthier herbs while also creating a beautiful and functional garden.

Plants That Grow Well With Basil

There are many types of plants that make great companions for basil. Here are some good choices:

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes and basil make excellent neighbors because they both thrive in warm temperatures and require similar watering schedules – just be sure not to overwater! Plus, tomatoes repel certain pests like aphids while attracting others like ladybugs which will help keep your garden healthy.

2. Peppers

Peppers have similar light requirements as basil but don't need quite as much water; however they do share common enemies such as spider mites so when planted together they work well at deterring these pesky critters away from both crops!

3. Garlic

Garlic has natural antifungal properties which makes it an ideal companion plant against certain diseases like powdery mildew – something particularly helpful if you're planting outside where humidity might otherwise cause problems among various species including your beloved sweet-smelling herb!

4. Parsley

Parsley is another member of the Umbelliferae family, like dill and cilantro. But unlike these herbs, it grows well with basil in container gardens. Parsley's long taproot helps break up soil and improves drainage while shading the roots of your basil.

5. Thyme

Thyme is another herb that likes similar growing conditions to basil; however its oils can repel insects such as whiteflies that might otherwise cause problems for your sweet smelling plant.

Tips on Planting Basil

Basil is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions but there are some best practices to follow when planting it:

  • Soil: Basil prefers well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter so consider adding compost or vermiculite if necessary.
  • Water: Make sure not to overwater as this will encourage root rot; keep the soil moist but not wet.
  • Light: Basil needs at least six hours of direct sunlight daily so choose a sunny spot for optimal growth.
  • Fertilizer: Use an all-purpose fertilizer every few weeks during the growing season and be sure not to over-fertilize or else you risk burning your plants!

By following these tips and choosing complementary companion plants, you'll be able to grow healthy, delicious basil right in your own backyard!

FAQs

What are some good plants to pair with basil in a container garden?

Basil is an herb that thrives in a variety of conditions and can grow well alongside many other herbs, vegetables, and even fruits. When planting basil in a container, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Choose companion plants that have similar growing requirements as basil – for instance, they should enjoy similar amounts of sunlight and water.
  • Consider plants that share pest-deterrent qualities with basil – this can help protect both plants from infestations.
  • Look for plant varieties whose flavors complement or contrast nicely with the taste of basil.

Some great options to consider include:

  • Tomatoes: These fruiting vegetables are often grown alongside herbs like basil for their complementary flavors. In addition to pairing well together on the plate (think Caprese salad), tomatoes also offer some natural shade cover for sun-sensitive herbs like Basil.
  • Peppers: Like tomatoes, peppers have flavor profiles that work well alongside fresh Basil leaves. Also like tomatoes these sun-loving veggies appreciate full-sun sites which makes them ideal companions when growing Basil-in-a-pot too!
  • Oregano: This perennial herb is part of the same plant family as Basil (Lamiaceae or mint family). And while they may be related by DNA their unique chemical makeups give each its own distinct flavor profile! Because they prefer mostly identical growing conditions Oregano + Basil = easy-peasy containers gardening!

How much space do I need when planting other crops alongside my container-grown basil?

The amount of space needed largely depends on what type(s) of vegetation you plan to grow next your potted-Basil!… In general terms though most combos will require at least 6 inches between each respective plant's stems/spread-out foliage.

When selecting compatible partner-plants it's also important take into account how tall/wide each individual crop might get once matured!… For instance, a bushy pepper plant could significantly shade-out the neighbouring basil if they are planted too closely together.

As such, it's best to plan ahead by researching your chosen companion plants and understanding their potential size/shape before planting them in close proximity to one another.

Can I grow multiple varieties of basil in the same container?

Absolutely yes! You can easily mix different types of Basil within single containers. In fact mixing several different colors and/or flavors of Basil is an excellent way to add visual interest + taste variety into your space-saving garden!

If you opt for this approach however keep each individual variety spaced apart enough so that they have enough room to grow without competing with one other.

Additionally, If any particular type begins looking congested or overgrown compared its neighbour(s), simply prune off some excess growth as needed so as not cause undue stress upon the other plants sharing its pot-space!

How often should I water my container garden when growing basil alongside other crops?

Different types of vegetables/herbs may require varying amounts water based on their specific needs/characteristics; plus which environmental conditions are present at any given time (e.g., hot/dry vs cool/moist). This makes it difficult give a "one-size-fits-all" answer…

That said there are a few general rules that can be followed when watering potted plants:

  • Soil moisture levels should be checked regularly: Stick finger 1 inch deep down into soil – if dry then it's time for watering!
  • Don't overwater: Ensure adequate drainage holes in bottom-container allow excess water escape.
  • Water deeply but infrequently: Generally speaking most herbs & veggies prefer deep-watering sessions less frequently rather than frequent-light-soaks
  • Adjust frequency according temperature changes / precipitation levels : During hot spells or droughts , increase amount/frequency you irrigate; Conversely during rainy weather reduce accordingly

As always though, it's best to keep a close eye on your plants health and adjust your watering regimen accordingly, especially when growing in containers where soil can dry out rather quickly!

What are some herbs that should not be grown with basil in a container?

While many herbs are compatible partners for Basil-in-a-pot there are few exceptions – although these depend on the specific plant!

For example the herb Rue (Ruta graveolens) is often mentioned as one that should avoided when growing alongside Basil. This is due to its potential toxicity; Rue produces compounds called furocoumarins which may cause skin irritation or react negatively with sunlight.

Other considerations include:

  • Mint: While both mint and basil belong same family they each have different soil requirements. If planted too closely together, their roots may compete for space/water/nutrients causing either or both plants suffer!
  • Dill: Although dill can be a relatively low-maintenance herb it tends to resent having its roots disturbed once established… As such might not appreciate sharing pot-space with another aggressive rooting plant like Basil.

In conclusion, planting basil alongside other crops can bring about several benefits such as natural pest control, complementary flavors & visual appeal; And if done correctly by selecting appropriate companion-plants while adhering proper spacing/watering guidelines you're likely set-up an attractive + healthy mini-garden right from atop of your balcony!

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