Beginner Basil Growing Tips?

Hi,
Im growing basil for the first time from seeds. At the moment the seedlings are sitting in my 40-cell propagator (with transparent cover) and there are around 5-10 seedlings per cell (each cell is about an inch in width and length).
They are now starting to show their 2nd set of leaves, ie, they all now have 2 larger leaves and 2 small ones (1-2mm). The seedlings are about an inch or more tall.
My question is, when should I transplant them to my mini greenhouse outside in the garden? I understand it is a question of outside temperature and also the size of the seedlings. But I have seen various inconsistent bits of advice online.
I am worried about the cold predominantly. It is mid April now and I live in Wiltshire, but I dont know how much cold basil can resist or if its just fine to prick out and transplant now.
--
derf


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That's a good thing to worry about. I don't know what your weather is like, but I can tell you that Basil will expire at the merest hint of frost.
Now, if you are planting them out into protection (you mention a mini greenhouse) that will not frost, you should be fine. But if it might freeze/frost inside that, it's too soon for basil (I actually have found something that's even more sensitive - our "pineapple tomatillos" took some kind of a hit last fall on a night that the basil lived through without damage.)
In planting straight into the garden, I generally wait until well after the last hint of the possibility of frost before the basil goes out.
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Certainly, freezing temperatures are to be avoided at all cost with basil. I live in region 9b. My best luck with basil has been in 1 gallon pots. My best pesto is when the plant is in flower. Pick the spiked inflorescences first, then if you need more basil pick the large leaves that already have an adventitious branch budding between the leaf and the stalk.
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