Can you plant basil and parsley together? | Grow Guide

Basil and parsley can be planted together in pots, garden beds or hanging baskets. These herbs love similar conditions in sun or part shade, they love the same amount of water and a feed of liquid nitrogen fertilizer. Plant basil and parsley together on their own or mix them in with tomatoes, strawberries or other herbs such as chives.

Basil and parsley are easy herbs to grow and are a great choice for pots near your kitchen as you can pick them easily for your cooking.

This article will explore how to successfully grow basil and parsley together and keep both plants happy.

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Where to grow basil and parsley

Basil and parsley love well draining soil with lots of organic matter whether you are planting in a pot, raised garden bed or flower garden both herbs love to grow in good quality soil.

How to grow basil and parsley together in raised garden beds

I am growing my herbs in raised garden beds this year so the first step was to improve the soil. Basil and parsley love organic matter so I mixed through organic matter in the from of compost and aged cow manure. Worm castings also make a great addition to garden beds before planting and will add nutrients and improve the structure of the soil.

After improving the soil with organic matter the basil and parley can be planted straight in. Give each herb at least 4-5 inches of space around it to give the roots space to grow. You can then surround the herbs with sugar cane or straw mulch and water them in well.

For more on mulching herbs, check out my previous article here: Best mulch for herbs | Basil, Parsley Rosemary + More

Parsley and basil will grow happily together in a pot or garden bed.

How to grow basil and parsley together in pots

Basil and parsley will grow perfectly well in pots together or mixed with other vegetables or flowers. Basil and parsley make a fantastic companion for a tomato grown in a pot or planted together with lavender.

For a fantastic “pizza” pot grow a tomato plant in the center and surround it with basil and parsley. These will all grow with the same amount of water and some slow release fertilizer in the form of pelleted chicken manure.

Basil and parsley can stand drying out so they can be planted with flowering perennials such as salvia or lavender. These will all grow happily together in pots or garden beds surrounded by bark mulch or straw mulch.

What should I plant around basil?

If you have planted a patch of basil planting other herbs such as parsley nearby will  be the perfect match. Basil and parsley love water every 2-3 days in summer, will benefit from straw or sugar cane mulch and love nitrogen rich liquid fertilizer like fish emulsion.

Basil can be planted together with parsley and other herbs to make an edible herb garden. I like to keep herbs that like similar watering together so chives, parsley and basil make the perfect companions all growing well over the warmer months.

While parsley will keep growing over winter, basil will finish growing when the weather cools in fall. Basil can then be removed and replaced with winter greens like pak choi or spinach.

How to fertilize parsley and basil together

There are 3 easy ways to fertilize parsley and basil that are grown together that will keep both happy and growing lots of leaves for your cooking.

1. Aged cow manure and compost at the time of planting

Mixing through some aged cow manure and compost will add a small amount of nutrients to the soil while improving the structure and drainage. Both of these are mild nitrogen fertilizers but will also contain organic matter which will feed the worms and soil bacteria.

All of this will create the perfect soil and drainage conditions for healthy basil and parsley.

2. Liquid nitrogen fertilizer

The next way to fertilize your basil and parsley for more leaves is to use a liquid nitrogen fertilizer. These can be organic or inorganic and will give the plants a boost of nitrogen to encourage leaf growth. I like to use fish emulsion which is a mild nitrogen fertilizer that is from a natural source.

Other organic fertilizers are also available so look for one with a high N-P-K ratio meaning it will have more nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium.

4. Slow release fertilizer after 1-2 months

The third way to fertilize your basil and parsley is to use a slow release fertilizer around 1 month after planting. A handful of pelleted chicken manure is all you need to boost the nitrogen levels and can release nutrients for up to 3 months.

Each time you water the herbs or if it rains, the pellet will break down and release the nutrients into the soil. Some will be absorbed by the plants and the rest will be digested and re-released into the soil by the soil bacteria and worms.

All of this combined will give you healthy parsley and basil plants and improve the soil at the same time.

How to prune parsley and basil

The final step in growing healthy parsley and basil plants over the summer season is to prune both plants regularly. By looking after the plants with proper fertilizer, regular water and mulch your plants will grow lots of leaves quickly.

To keep the plants producing and growing well you will need to give them a light trim regularly. This will stop both plants growing flowers which can turn the leaves bitter and the stems woody.

Use kitchen scissors or secateurs to trim the top 1-2 inches off of both plants every 2-3 weeks. The plants will quickly branch out and replace the leaves that you trimmed off.

Only remove a maximum of 1/3 of the leaves at any one time so both herbs photosynthesize and grow back more leaves quickly.

Can you plant basil and parsley together? | Summary

Basil and parsley grow perfectly well together in pots, raised garden beds or in your yard as a garden border. Both plants love regular water over the summer months and can be grown from seedling in spring. Improve the soil with aged cow manure and compost before planting and give them a feed of pelleted chicken manure 4 weeks after planting.

Happy growing.