Growing Basil for a Culinary Treat

The excitement and anticipation of growing a garden is shared by many people all over the country. It’s no wonder with the wonderful variety of flower seeds, vegetable seeds and garden accessories to be found in free seed catalogs, garden centers and nurseries everywhere.

Whether you enjoy growing flower or vegetable seeds there are many seed options to consider. One of the most popular and useful seeds may be that of basil, which not only smells lovely but can be used in an endless variety of recipes. Basil is easy to grow from seeds with over two dozen types of basil including lettuce leaf which has large leaves, cinnamon basil and purple leafed varieties. Basil is not frost tolerant so it’s important to to only plant after soil completely warmed, after planted the herb needs full sun and a lot of moisture (especially in pots) after the season ends you can bring herb inside as a window herb. After harvesting you can freeze, dry or preserve basil in oil.

If you plant your basil during warm weather in pots or garden accessories (containers and window gardens) and bring inside to grow be sure to use a bright and sunny window to ensure the best results.

Lemon Basil

I adore basil and love citrus, so it was a special treat to find a superior cultivar of lemon basil which combines the flavors of both. ‘Mrs. Burns’ lemon basil is the best strain we’ve ever grown, with vigorous big leaves and a wonderful bright lemony taste mingled with rich basil aroma. It grows easily like any other garden basil and stays in the leafy stage for a very long period so you can enjoy it fresh for weeks. I love to add about a half cup of chopped lemon basil to rice dishes or to season chicken and fish. It’s also a perfect seasoning for fresh squash, eggplant, green beans, and carrots. Lemon basil made into fresh pesto is also a treat.

Basil Can Be a Bit Tricky When Growing Herbs

Growing herbs in your vegetable garden from vegetables seeds is usually very simple – that is until you try growing basil! Basil is very sensitive to the climate. If you plant their vegetables seeds in herb gardens too early when the ground temperature is still cool and the rain is still plentiful, you will probably not be successful.

Basil seeds require lots of sunshine as they germinate, and they grow very slowly in the vegetable gardens or herb gardens. So the number of days of sunshine must be guaranteed – something that can’t be done in the spring. These vegetables seeds require tender loving care.

You may wish to start these vegetables seeds in a greenhouse, therefore ensuring less moisture and more warmth and sunshine. Or you can start basil vegetables seeds in a cold frame before transferring to the vegetable garden.

After several years of rainy wet spring weather, I resort to buying seedlings rather than basil vegetables seeds to transplant into my vegetable and herb gardens. This has proved to be most successful, since I do not have a greenhouse set-up.

I am being daring this year and have planted my basil vegetables seeds in containers. Let’s hope it works this time! Even though basil is difficult to start, once the plants take hold, your harvest will be plentiful. And there is nothing better than the taste of home-made pesto sauce! Very much worth the effort.