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, Botanical Interests basil is so easy to grow at home, that you can always have some on hand.
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. There is a bit of a misnomer that basil is hard to grow from seed – that couldn’t be more untrue! It 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. A sunny location in well-drained, rich soil with ample moisture will keep it very happy. Pinch off basil’s flower buds and prune your plants every two to three weeks for better tasting and bushier plants. If grown indoors in a pot, give the plant a minimum of four hours of bright light, and a location away from drafts. If your basil is sown 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’s uses are as diverse as their flavors. Some varieties, such as Purple Petra, are used as attractive ornamentals in the summer landscape, and others, like Thai and Tulsi, 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. We carry several different basil varieties from Botanical Interests – all their packets have in depth growing instructions and cooking hints!