How To Grow Basil

How To Grow Basil

The name Basil is derived from the Greek word for king or royal, a nickname and reputation it earns by being the most popular culinary herb! Its popularity spans the globe since basil proves to be a good match for almost any kind of food. Basil is also known as the “tomato sauce herb”, because it goes especially well with tomatoes and Italian cuisine. In fact, the main ingredient in Pesto sauce is basil. Unlike many other herbs, it is almost impossible to use too much in your cooking.

Basil is a tender herb that is typically grown in warm, tropical climates and is native to Asia and Africa, but can be cultivated in many areas around the globe. It is usually used fresh in recipes, generally added at the last moment, as cooking destroys much of the flavour.

Tips for keeping your basil happy

Basil is very sensitive to ‘wet feet’ and if over watered the leaves will go soft and look a bit greyish. If I collapse soon thereafter, this is a sure sign of over watering. Once this happens there is no reviving me – so please don’t over water me! Basil is at its most flavorful when fresh. The best time to harvest is just as the plant starts to set flower buds, well before flowers bloom. Basil is programmed to initiate flowering when it has six pairs of leaves on a stalk. For maximum production per plant, cut it back to two leaves per stem, and don’t let it grow past four pairs.

The later in the day you harvest basil, the longer it stays fresh.