Basil

Basil

Ocimum basilicum

“Basil” cheat sheet
Growing
  • Sow 1/4″ deep , 12″ apart
  • Start indoors 6 weeks prior to last frost
  • Needs warmth to grow properly
Caring
  • Sun Exposure – Full
  • Growing Medium – Loamy Soil / Will grow in potting soil
  • Watering – Loves it’s water
  • Prune me please, I need a haircut!
Harvesting
  • Harvest as soon as the leaves are growing.
  • Dill is best used fresh
  • Take no more than a 1/3 of the plant per harvest
Background:

Native to the tropical regions from Central Africa and Southeast Asia it is used world wide in all sorts of culinary dishes. There are many varieties of basil including Dark Opal, Lemon Basil, Holy Basil, and Thai Basil. Each type brings its own flavor and aroma. Belonging to the mint family and is usually an annual with some varieties being grown as perennials.

Growing
  1. Basil grows best in loamy soil. Loamy soil is defined as a 40/40/20 mix of Sand/Silt/Clay respectively. From personal experience I have grown basil using normal miracle grow.
  2. Start seeds indoors 6 weeks prior to last frost. According to Almanac.com it’s best to not rush basil. It will have trouble growing without heat.
  3. Ensure the area you are planting in is well drained and can have around 8 hours of sunlight a day.
  4. Plant seeds / seedlings about 1/4″ deep, spaced around 10 – 14 inches apart. Larger varieties will require more space in-between them.
Caring For
  • This herb grows at its best in full sun. It will handle partial shade but may require extra care.
  • Basil plants love moisture. Keep this plant watered frequently during hot and dry times. You can use mulch to help lock in moisture.
  • Once the basil plant has produced enough leaves (6-8) it will be ready for its first pruning. It is important to prune your basil regularly to keep it healthy and producing a large amount of leaves. The pruning process is covered below.
Harvesting
  • Pruning
    • Pruning your basil is super simple. Once enough leaves have formed, simply trim back the branch to the main stem. This will allow for two new branches to grow in its place. Repeat the process as more branches get more leaves and enjoy all of your fresh basil.
  • Basil can be used fresh or dried.
  • Drying your basil is a great way to store it. Once harvested leave sitting out to dry for around 3 days. If it is still damp place in the oven at the lowest setting with the door cracked until dry. Ensure to turn the basil over to obtain even drying.

You can get small and bulk size packages of basil seeds from True Leaf Market.

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