My Cottage Herbs: Growing Basil

Basil is considered the premiere culinary herb and has a marvelous variety of flavors to choose from. The bushy basil plants, especially the purple-leaved types, also look great in the flower garden.



I grow my basil in the large kitchen window along with my other herbs placed on the shabby white table. It is easy access for me to just trim off a few leaves to cut with!

The hardest thing about growing sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is choosing which type to grow. Learn how to grow basil in containers or in your garden.



Basil is an annual, or sometimes perennial, herb used for its leaves. Depending on the variety, plants can reach heights of between 1 and 5 feet. Its leaves are richly green and ovate, but otherwise come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.



Basil is most commonly used fresh in recipes. In general, it is added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavor.


Common Uses For Basil in Recipes:

  1. Pizza

  2. Spaghetti / Pasta

  3. Garlic Bread

  4. Salads

  5. Pesto


How to Grow Basil & Care


Light

Basil grows best with 6-8 hours of full sun each day. Ample sun also means fewer disease problems and sturdier plants, but basil prefers part shade in hot climates.


Soil

Basil does best in moist, rich, well-draining soil. It's a good idea to gently fertilize your soil and be sure it's safe for herbs.


Water

Water your basil plant deeply and on a regular basis, but be sure its soil is well-drained.


Temperature and Humidity

Basil is a heat lover. Basil is very sensitive to frost and will be one of the first plants to die in the fall.




Types of Basil

There are several varieties of Basil you can grow for you and your family. Here's the common list of basil, but there are some hybrids out there too.

  • Anise basil, Licorice basil or Persian basil (O. basilicum 'Liquorice')

  • Cinnamon basil (Ocimum basilicum 'Cinnamon')

  • Dark opal basil (Ocimum basilicum 'Dark Opal')

  • Lettuce leaf basil (Ocimum basilicum 'Crispum')

  • Purple basil (Ocimum basilicum 'Purpurescens')

  • Rubin basil (Ocimum basilicum 'Rubin')

  • Globe basil, dwarf basil, French basil (Ocimum basilicum 'Minimum')

  • Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum thyrsifolium)



I hope you go herb-trotting through your own backyard garden or kitchen garden today! And if you are just getting started, then I wish you the best. I know you'll love growing your own herbs as much as I do. #basil #cottagegarden #plainscottage #plainsgeorgia




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