Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is one of the easiest herbs to grow. Here are a few growing facts about basil in the garden!
|Dark Opal Purple Basil|
- Basil grows well from seed. You can sow it in the garden or start the seeds in pots. It transplants well. Keep basil seeds moist until germinated and established.
- Basil is a great companion plant to just about everything. My favorite companion planting combination with basil is to pair it with tomatoes or peppers.
- There are lots of different kinds of basil. The flavors can range from lemon to cinnamon to the traditional Italian basils. Different flavors allow you to pair your basil with different types of foods making it an extremely versatile herb.
- When growing basil pinch the stem tips to encourage a bushy plant. It also delays the flowering.
- The flowered are edible and make an interesting addition to salads!
- Basil can be highly ornamental. Dark purple colors, speckled colors, ruffled leaves, and large crinkly leaves are traits demonstrated by various basils that can give your garden a unique look that is also edible!
- Basil propagates easily from cuttings. Just put a basil cutting in a glass of water and watch the roots form in a few days. Propagating basil is a great technique when you want more basil for your garden or want to bring some indoors for winter use.
- At the end of the season allow it to flower and go to seed. You can collect the seed or allow it to self sow in your garden.
- Basil can be used to make pesto, sauces, put on pizza, tomato sandwiches, paired with tomato and cheese with Balsamic vinegar, put in salads, used in marinades, and many other kitchen uses!
What is your favorite use for basil?