Basil, King of Herbs

Print More

Photo by Diana Ferrari

Double your pleasure with Dark Opal basil and Italian sweet basil.

There are several different varieties of basil that one can plant.  I always plant seeds but plants are also available.  There are mucho ways to enjoy basil.  You can create salads, oils, vinegars, soups, pesto, sauces, dips, etc.  Basil alone, or accompanied by other herbs, used for garnishes, makes an attractive presentation.  Bouquets don’t necessarily always have to be flowers.  Create a fragrant, herbal bouquet in a favorite vase which will be charming.  So, my friend, are you inspired yet?  If so, here are helpful growing tips:

Let There Be Light.  Basil requires a good eight hours of sunshine to be successful.  Warm temperatures are necessary to keep this herb alive, so I recommend waiting until all chances of a frost are a thing of the past.  If an unexpected cold night is forecasted, be sure to protect this king of herbs with a cover.  You will notice in the fall when chilly nights return that beloved basil will be one of the first plants to take a hit.

Basil likes to be watered regularly, but it doesn’t fare well if the roots are sitting in water.  When I plant basil in pots, I always purchase a good quality potting mix which encourages proper drainage.

To stimulate growth of fresh leaves be sure to prune stems and leaves, and you will be rewarded with even more basil.  Always snip off tiny flower buds to discourage plants from going into the seed production phase.

Have fun experimenting by growing different basil types.  Lemon basil has a bright citrus flavor that’s delicious in marinades and teas.  If you’re a licorice fan, as I am, you may want to try Thai basil.  

Comments are closed.