Growing Basil

I have seen herbs to be not only the least difficult types of plants to grow, but they are also the most fun to build a garden with – not to point out that it is the most flexible group of plants around.

Basil is a bushy herb, it is about 1 to 2 feet high, with shiny opposite leaves and raises of white flowers. Basil leaves can be used in cooking, giving their unique taste to food. It is one of the most well-known herbs in the garden; basil can bring delicate taste to tomato dishes, salads, and pesto.

How to grow
Plant seeds when the danger of frost is over and the ground is warm, you can start indoors in separate pots. If you can place them in full sun, in moist soil, preferably with compost and with aged manure. Space at the distance proposed on the label, which is usually 10 to 20 inches apart. In case of cold nights, mulch to maintain moisture when the soil has warmed up again.

Basil can be susceptible to different fungal disorders, such as Fusarium wilt, gray mold, and black spot, as well as damping-off in new plants. Eliminate these complications by holding out to plant outside until the soil has warmed up and by not overpopulating the surrounding area.

Harvesting
Harvest basil leaves by pinching them from the stems whenever after the fresh plants have grown to a height of 5 to 9 inches. Nip the leaves from the tips of the stems to promote the plant to branch out and grow more leaves. Try to hold the stems pinched even if you don’t use the leaves; or else, the plant will start to flower and make seeds instead, and will stop growing leaves.

Uses in Cooking
Maybe the most flavorful way to appreciate the real depth of basil is in a simple Pesto Sauce provided on pasta. In tomato sauce, basil i believe is pretty much a crucial herb. A basic sauce that can be made in just few minutes, and wonderfully shows the taste of basil.
Also, basil works good with onions, garlic, and olives.

Lemon basil, as the name suggests, has a tough lemony scent. Their leaves are small and an easier green than other types. You can use this herb in fish meals, salad dressings and desserts. It is yet another basil herb that can make good vinegar.

 

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