Easy to grow, fragrant and the taste of summer, Basil is one of the best herbs for use with tomato dishes but also a great main ingredient for pesto.
If you take the time to basil grown in the home garden you will experience such a unique flavour almost a hint of aniseed when grown well. Yes home grown basil is better than any you can buy.
Basil Plants (green basil pictured right) and varieties for sale by mail order include the well known . Genovese Basil and many other species. If you don't have a veggie garden, you can grow it in a container, or even a window box
Basil is best when continuously picked as this helps prevent flowering and will increase yield. Grow basil as a companion plant for tomatoes
Basil plants varieties include cinnamon, fino verde, genovese giant basil, greek (yiotis) lemon basil, thai, lime, mammoth, napolitano, opal and purple ruffles.
How to grow basil.
Basil grows best in the UK in late spring and summer. You can start seeds a little earlier in a cold frame or greenhouse. You can even grow basil in a greenhouse during cooler months. A well drained humus rich soil is best, but remember to keep the water up.
Basil loves a humus or compost rich moist soil, it does not like to dry out. Plant once the risk of frost or cold spells is over. The WET POT watering system is ideal for basil as it provides the roots with the moisture it requires. Basil loves a sunny spot, but remember it does not like to dry out.
Growing Basil Indoors
You will need a sunny position and some pots and a good quality potting mix.
- Sow the seeds as soon as the weather warms a little usually May.
- Keep them moist and in a sunny position on a patio or window sill.
- Do not cover the pot with clingwrap is sits to close to the seeds, causes mould and can get to hot. Use a clear plastic bag supported on some sticks, this allows some air circulation and increases the temperature enough. Remove the plastic bag and the sticks as soon a the first seeds show signs of gemination.
- Germination takes 2 - 4 weeks.
- Once they have germinated you can either leave them in the same pot or divide them. You will get good growth if you leave them all in the one pot, not a large but it is easier.
- Keep up moisture, but ensure drainage is good.
- If you are going to plant them in seperate pots, pot them up and allow them to harden off a little before putting them in full sun.
- Use a regular liquid fertiliser, every week for the first month after gemination to promote good leaf growth. Then hold back on the fertiliser.
- Once the plants are growing strongly increase the amount of sun as much as possible to inprove flavour.
- If flower buds appear simply pinch them out.
- Start picking as soon as the plant look big enough, a few early leaves picked here and their will not hurt
- You can cut basil to a low side shoot and it will come again.
With over ten varieties available for sale including, cinnamon, fino verde, genovese giant, greek (yiotis) lemon, lime, mammoth, napolitano. opal and purple ruffles all have their special uses.
We use fino verde or napolitano for making pesto. Pick basil regularly to prevent flowering.
Basil plants and seeds are available for sale online from specialist herb nurseries listed.
Tel: +44 (0)1362 860812 Fax: +44 (0)1362 860812
Norfolk Herbs are growers of naturally raised culinary, medicinal and aromatic herb plants for wholesale, retail and mail order supply together with Bay Trees, Scented Pelargoniums and Hand Thrown English Garden Terracotta to give stature, colour, scent and flavour to a window-sill, patio, garden or landscape