Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas

How To Sow Basil Seed Using The Heated Propagator

Grow herb Basil on the windowsill, an essential of Italian and Asian cooking

If you love Italian or Asian food then Basil is the ‘must have’ herb. Grow it in between your tomatoes to help deter white fly, it also is reputed to enhance the flavour of the tomatoes. There are about 150 varieties but the main ones are Sweet Basil used in Italian cooking and Holy Basil used in Asian cookery.



We’ve chosen the normal ‘Sweet Green’ which is usually available in supermarkets.

tomatoes & basil

You will need:

  • seed tray or 9cm pots
  • seed compost & vermiculite
  • seed
  • something which holds water to stand the tray or pots in
  • heated propagator
  • labels

Fill the tray or pots with John Innes Seed Compost, tap the tray on the bench to level the compost.

Sow the seed thinly on the surface.

Cover with a thin layer of vermiculite, this insulates the seed against fluctuating temperatures.

Place in the tray of water for 15 - 20 minutes until damp, label.

Place in the propagator at a temperature of 20 – 25C (68 – 77F) until germinated, this should take 14 – 21 days.

Keep compost on the dry side.

Take out of the propagator and grow on somewhere light and warm until the seedlings are big enough to handle and transplant.