Growing Herbs in Texas: Tips for Growing Basil in Texas

| 3/25/2010 10:33:19 AM

C.MeredithCynthia Meredith has been gardening with herbs, reading about herbs, and discussing herb gardening in Texas for more than 20 years. She has owned The Herb Cottage ( for over 10 years, selling herb plants to people all over our state.

The spring equinox (or vernal equinox) arrived Saturday, March 20 at 12:32 p.m. CDT. That day we had a rain that lasted all morning. Almost an inch of rain fell—wonderful, beautiful, nourishing rain. Then later that day, the wind began. And did it ever blow!! Even though the temperature wasn't terribly low, it was quite chilly and uncomfortable outside. I should know, I was at a farmer's market in Richmond that day. I kept putting tender vegetable seedlings back into the truck to keep them from being destroyed by the wind.  

redbud blue bonnet
 It's spring in south central Texas as the redbud trees and bluebonnets bloom.

The herbs, being as tough as they are, survived just fine. Although I did put the basil back in the truck because it was looking very peaked in all the wind. When I returned home from market, I was pleasantly surprised to see the herbs in the beds and the containers looking just fine. The wind was dying down at that point too.

Most herbs have small leaves, basil being the exception. (That's why the plants are so tough and can survive less than perfect conditions outdoors.) The leaves do not lose a lot of moisture to the wind as larger leaved plants can. So cold, windy weather does not adversely affect thyme, oregano, rosemary, dill or fennel the way it affects basil with its tender leaves.