Learning how to grow basil is relatively easy. First, you will need your favorite variety of basil seeds or for faster results you can start from basil seedlings.
There are over a 100 basil varieties in existence, but sweet basil is probably one of the most well known or common basil plants.
Learning important tips for growing basil as well as properly pruning basil will help to ensure an abundant basil harvest.
And learning how to grow basil will not only save you money, but will help to add more depth of flavor to many of your favorite dishes. And you can harvest your own basil seeds at the end of the season.
You can pick fresh young basil leaves whenever you desire or need to, although it is important to remove flowers as soon as buds appear to avoid bitter tasting basil leaves.
Before pruning basil, wait until your basil plant is about 6 inches in height. You can then pinch off the tip of the plant right above a set of leaves. Pruning basil or harvesting leaves from the top encourages the plant to grow from the sides and also encourages a bushier, thicker plant.
This will allow you to receive a continued supply of fresh basil leaves. Pruning basil back by half or more can also be done if you need a large amount of basil for like a pesto. Generally, it will take about 2 to 3 weeks to grow back.
Storing basil in your refrigerator can cause leaves to turn black, so it is best to store your fresh basil by placing stems in a jar of water for a few days. Also, keep basil out of direct sunlight.
Sweet Basil - the most popular or well known of all the basil varieties. It is the type of basil typically used in pesto and Italian tomato sauces.
Lemon Basil - this type of basil has a distinct lemony taste and aroma. Great for dishes that call for a citrus component.
Lime Basil - similar to lemon basil, but contains a tangy lime flavor and scent instead.
If you want to save seeds from your basil plants, you can let your basil plants flower. However, make sure to save basil seeds from your best plants.
Mature basil seeds are small, round, and black. It's also very important that your seeds are completely dry before storing them away for future plantings.
You can place your basil seeds in a dry spot for a day or two to ensure they are completely dry before storing them in a container or even in a dated envelope.
To get the most from your basil plants, you can allow flowering to begin at the last 6 weeks before the first projected frost.
This is how to grow basil the longest until the next season.
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