Monday, June 4, 2012

Growing Herbs - Basil

 Basil is a culinary herb that is a main ingredient for many recipes. When you add fresh  basil leaves to soups, sauces and entrees the flavor of the food will be heightened.  The foods that are prepared with basil herb are always well received by family and friends as they are delicious. If you enjoy cooking then I would recommend that you grow basil in your herb garden.
Aromatic and Delicious African Blue Basil

Grow basil from seed by starting the seeds indoors, plant in a grow kit and set by a sunny southern exposed window.  Keep the seedlings soil evenly moist but not wet.  Transplant after the threat of spring frost has past.  Plant the basil in a sunny location that has well drained soil.  Water lightly in the morning until the plants are mature, then you would water as needed.  A mature basil plant is approximately two feet in height with similar spread. 

The leaves of the basil are green and highly aromatic.  This herb produces a flower that blooms mid to late summer.  The flowers attract bees and butterflies.  If you summers are hot then grow basil as they flourish in hot humid climates.  

I grow Thai, cinnamon  and African blue basil in various sized containers and decorative pots and also in my rock garden. In the summer, I display the basil in containers on my patio and along my walkways. The aromatic scent of the basil plants is refreshing and repels many flying insects including mosquitoes. It is nice to enjoy the fragrant basil while sitting on the patio.

Learn more about growing basil here.
In the winter, I bring my basil herb containers into my kitchen or into the greenhouse and set them by a sunny southern exposure window.  

In January when the winter days are long and dark we will set the basil under a grow light.  Basil likes it hot so we set the plant container in the center and set the other herbs on the sides or behind the basil.

If you enjoy cooking with fresh herbs then harvest the basil leaves before the flowers bloom. My husband enjoys cooking he will not permit some basil plants to flower because the leaves have a stronger taste after the plant blooms.  

It is best to grow many basil plants so you can enjoy the fragrance and the flavor.

When you add basil to your kitchen herb garden, the plants aromatic properties add a fresh scent to your home.



Flower Pot said...

I did not know that basil could repel mosquitoes...that would make it worth planting even if it didn't taste so great!

S Golis said...

When I am out in the garden I will pick basil leaves and then crush them and rub the juice on my arms and legs. I love the scent and yes it does a good job at repelling garden pests.