Sweet basil is commonly grown as an aromatic culinary and medicinal herb in warm temperate and tropical climates. An interesting twist on th eclassic basil, the leaves have a definite lemony tang.
Grows up to 0.60 meters tall. It is a very good companion plant to grow in the house or greenhouse, its aromatic foliage helping to reduce problems caused by insect pests
The leaves are ovate, often puckered, flowers white, and fruits have four small nutlets, which are mucilaginous when wet.
Basil is used to flavour soups and sauces and is the main ingredient of pesto sauce. The leaves can be eaten as a salad. Basil is also used in perfumery, soap-making, and to flavour liqueurs. The seeds are edible, and when soaked in water become mucilaginous. In parts of the Mediterranean they are made into a refreshing drink known as cherbet tokhum.
Basil is widely used in systems of traditional medicine, including Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine.
The leaves are used to make an insecticide that can protect stored crops from beetle damage.
Prefers a rich light well-drained soil. Requires a sunny sheltered position if grown outdoors. Tolerates a pH in the range 5 to 8.
Sweet basil is commonly grown as an aromatic culinary and medicinal herb in warm temperate and tropical climates.
Basil is a perennial plant in the tropics, but it is frost tender and needs to be grown as a half-hardy annual in temperate zones.
It requires a good hot summer in Britain if it is to do well outdoors.
Sweet basil is a good companion plant for tomatoes but it grows badly with rue and sage. When grown near raspberries it can retard their fruiting.
Genus - Ocimum
Species - Basilicum
Variety - Green
Common name - Basil
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 11
Height - 0,50 - 0,60 m
Spread - 0,25 m
Plant type - Annual herb
Exposure - Full Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acid, neutral, alkaline (pH 5-8)
Soil type - Rich, light, well drained
Water requirements - High
Landscape uses - Border, Container, Specimen
Leaf / Flower color - Green / --
1. Sow from all year long in trays of moist compost. In winter, ensure more daylight.
2. Sow thinly and cover with a fine layer of compost. Cover with glass, polythene or propagator lid.
3. Keep at +15-20C. Seedlings appear in 7-14 days.
4. Remove cover when seedlings appear. Grow in small groups in separate pots.
5. If planning to transplant outside, stand outside for a few days late in May (avoid frosts). Transplant 15 cm apart in final position in June or continue to grow inside.
5. Harvest indoor crops all year long, outdoor crops from June to October the following year.
1. Sow from May to June in a prepared seed bed.
2. Sow thinly in rows 15 cm apart. Cover lightly with fine soil.Keep moist.
3. Pick leaves as required from June to November the following year.
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