All About Basil

Aromatic. Spicy. Versatile. Downright addictive. That’s what we say about the incredible herb, basil. Whether you’re making pesto or tea, Italian or Thai food, Basil is so easy to grow at home, that you can always have some on hand. 

Grow from Seed or Transplants

There is a bit of a misnomer that basil is hard to grow from seed – that couldn’t be more untrue!  However, basil is very frost-sensitive and when grown in the garden outside, prefers 70ºF soil temperatures – sowing too early results in slow and very delayed emergence. So wait until temperatures warm up adequately in late May to sow seed or plant basil transplants.  Follow seed depth and days to germination direction on the seed pack.

Grow in a Sunny Location

 A sunny location in well-drained, rich soil with ample moisture will keep basil very happy. Keep the seeds sprinkled with water until germination.  Then water as needed and fertilizer with a general purpose fertilizer like Jack’s All-Purpose.  You’ll be surprised how large the plants will get when grown in the garden!

Pinch off basil’s flower buds and prune your plants every two to three weeks for better tasting and bushier plants. If grown in a pot, give the plant a minimum of four hours of bright light, and water and fertilize regularly. If your basil is grown outside, make sure you do your final harvest before the first frost and pull the whole plant out of the ground or harvest individual leaves. Basil is a great companion plant for tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, and can be grown in a container with other herbs indoors or grown outdoors.

Basil Uses

Basil’s uses are as diverse as their flavors. Some varieties, such as Purple Petra, are used as attractive ornamental in the summer landscape, and others, like Thai add interest (and fragrance) to cut flower arrangements. Basil is also thought to have many health-promoting properties and is full of essential vitamins such as K and A, minerals, and other nutrients.

Creek Side carries 8 different basil seed varieties from Botanical Interests – all their packets have in depth growing instructions and cooking hints!  Find several different varieties of small basil plants for transplanting into the garden or pots on the patio.  Including Burpee Pesto Party and Genovese large leaf Italian.