Basil is often referred to as the king of herbs and are certainly one of the most popular herbs grown in the home garden.
This herb is known around the world for its wonderful fragrance and flavor. The key ingredient in classic Italian pesto, Sweet Basil has big leaves that are fast and easy to grow so that you can make your own pesto to freeze for year-round use. If you were to grow only one herb, this should probably be it. There are so many uses of basil that every herb gardener will want to have a plant or two. Dried basil just doesn’t have the aromatic quality of the fresh leaves, which are often added at the last minute to many Asian dishes. It is an attractive plant that works well in vegetable, herb and flower gardens. Basil has a warm, resinous, clove-like flavour and fragrance. The flowers and leaves are best used fresh and added only during the last few minutes of cooking. Basil works well in combination with tomatoes. Finely chopped basil stirred into mayonnaise makes a good sauce for fish. Use as a garnish for vegetables, chicken and egg dishes.
Packed with Vitamin K, fresh basil helps with blood clotting and aids in bone strength. Used medicinally for its antioxidants and antibacterial properties, basil oil provides an immune system boost and combats aging and skin ailments. A member of the mint family, its sweet aroma often infuses Mediterranean dishes. To maintain flavour and colour when cooking with fresh basil, mix in the bright green leaves during the last few minutes. You can also crush the leaves with a mortar and pestle to maximize the herb’s hearty flavour. Basil freezes well; just wash and dry thoroughly before tightly sealing in freezer bags.
Vitamin A: 3% DV
Vitamin C: 1%
Vitamin K: 13%
Vitamin B6: 0%
Basic Care Instructions
Light: Full sun is ideal, but plants can grow in part shade.
Feed: Organic manure every 15 days
Harvest often: The trick to how to grow basil that is large and abundant is to harvest often. The more you harvest basil, the more the plant will grow. When harvesting, pinch off the stem right above where a pair of leaves are growing. After you harvest, two more stems will start to grow, which means twice the leaves next time you harvest!
Remove flowers: Once a basil plant flowers, the leaves start to lose their good flavour. If you remove any flowers, the leaves will get their good flavour back in just a day or so.
Sweet Basil, King Herb, Royal Herb
India, Asia, Africa