Eric Thomas: I am sorry, I forgot to add some details.
I live in the North of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The plants have 12 hours of light (and 5 hours are of direct sunlight) . The temperature during the day is 32ºC (or 89.6º F). The nights are warm 24º C (75.2ºF).
I did not check the pH, the soil drainage is medium, the plant is in a plant pot.
I believe the sun could be too much for them, I have installed a 80% plastic shade and I usually open it when there is direct sun.
Not everyone will necessarily endorse it, but I had really really good luck with diluted urine (9:1 or so) on basil in containers, even without other additions to the soil. In my experience basil likes sun but I've never dealt with Brazilian sun, which I could imagine being pretty strong in Minas Gerais.
I have had good results and amazing growth with Thai Basil grown in a greenhouse. It was watered heavily and trays of water were set in any unused shelf space to bring the humidity to 100%. The slightest movement caused a little rain shower. Pests and mold were never an issue. This was by far the most financially successful portion of a very small Market Garden.
If it gets the slightest bit dehydrated the leaves die.
That has been my experience as well.
Even though basil is a Mediterranean plant, it doesn't seem to like dry growing seasons.
For flavor, I have 2 suggestions:
Basil and tomato are a great combination in the kitchen AND the garden.
Their marriage should begin in the garden...honeymoon in the kitchen.
Also, yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) stimulates the production of essential oils in most herbs.
It is these oils that give the herbs their flavors.
I believe that yarrow belongs in any herb garden specifically for this reason.
(If you want super mints, this combo will boost the mintiness in the plants)
Basil needs at least 6-8 hours of the sun. Set out the plant at least 2 weeks after the last frost in the spring. You could also plant it in the summer. Try spacing the plants at least 12-18 inches apart. These plants are very frost sensitive, so it is better to keep them protected during the winter. Basil likes a rich,moist and well-drained soil with a pH of about 6-7. Since it is harvested basically for its leaves it good to add a little fertilizer once in awhile. While planting add plenty of organic nutrients from compost to the soil. As for improving the taste of the basil leaves try eating them with cheese or sour cream. If you want to know more about edible landscaping,you can just read the article that I have attached(http://infinitygardens.ca/blog/how-to-master-the-art-of-edible-landscaping/).I hope you find it useful.
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