Basil must have warm conditions, and prefers moist, rich, well-drained soil with pH of 6. Seedlings are slow-growing and delicate. Sow seed, 1/8" deep, in summer or indoors in late spring. When the seedlings appear, thin the plants to 1 foot apart. Susceptible to frost and cold. Water at mid-day not in the evening; avoid overwatering seedlings to prevent mildew. Harvest leaves every week, pinching terminal buds first to stimulate branching and encourage bushiness. Harvest should be in early autumn before the leaves turn limp and yellow. Cut stalks for drying before the plant comes into flower. Do not hang in bunches, as the leaves will dry too slowly and could mold. Basil is highly subject to heat and drought stress, and will “go to seed” practically overnight. Pinch off any developing seedheads regularly.