Sweet Basil, Ocimum basilicum

sweet_basilOverview
This must-have herb is delightfully flavorful and easy to grow, producing a continuous harvest of fragrant leaves all summer.

Description
This is the most popular type of basil–one of the most popular herbs in the world, and no wonder. The delicious scent, and delightful taste makes this one a must-have in any herb garden. It grows rapidly from seed, and once you harvest a stem, another appears in its place. Imagine making your own fresh pesto, basil and tomato “caprese” salads, plus all the other favorites that call for basil. These seeds are the preferred culinary type, super-easy to grow.

Sowing
Sow seeds outdoors after danger of frost has passed, in a sunny location with well drained soil. Or, For early harvest, start seed indoors 6 to 8 weeks before planting outdoors.  Cover seed with 1/8 inch fine soil.

Thinning and Transplanting
Thin or transplant seedlings 8 to 10 inches apart when 2 inches tall. Indoors, transplant seedlings to individual pots and plant outdoors after danger of frost has passed.

Harvesting
Cut stem just before flowers open, strip leaves and use fresh, or dry on tray in dark, airy place. Leaves may be frozen.

Growing Tips
Basil grows best in a sunny location in moist, rich, soil. Pinch back plants to encourage bushiness and discourage flowering.  Basil can also be made into pesto sauce and then frozen for later use.  Harvest leaves continually to encourage new growth.

Seed Supplier: American Meadows

Click Here for Sweet Basil recipes!

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