How To Grow Basil Like a Pro

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Written By Michael

I love gardening, building, making and fixing things. 





Sweet Basil Plant As we get closer to spring and have a few days of warmer weather, anyone who loves to grow things will think about starting seeds. My first project is usually starting a few herbs in pots and placing them on a sunny windowsill. Basil is among my favorite because there are so many varieties and it is quite easy to grow.

While most people think of basil as being traditionally an Italian herb there are so many different kinds that you can use it in most any dish and it need not be confined to tomato dishes it works very well with poultry or pork and in salads.

There are far too many types of basil to cover them all, but I will touch on a few of the more popular varieties and the ones that in my experience are the easiest to grow.

Sweet basil is by far the most popular and widely used type but there are several different varieties. They have a very distinctive aroma and any tomato dish that it is added to is bound to get many compliments.

Another wonderful thing about this plant is that even if you don’t have time or space for a garden it grows very well in pots placed in a sunny location, will make a nice addition to a patio or deck and is perfect for a zen garden with buddha.

Medinette Basil

This is a very compact type with leaves a bit larger than bush basil which makes it wonderful for planting in pots, orchid pots work well, reaching only 12 to 14 inches, it is also slow to bolt (wilt or lose it’s leaves) in hotter or dry climates like most basil, it germinates easily and can be planted outside in mid to late spring in most zones, or inside at any time of the year.

Sweet Salad Basil

This is a medium leaf variety and is great for use fresh in salads, on tomatoes or in pestos and can be added at the last minute in soups or chopped finely onto rice dishes. It has a very mild sweet flavor and the hint of cinnamon clove flavor gives it an added twist. Because of this flavor it also works well with dishes such as chicken curry. This is the basil most widely used commercially because it dries quite well without the leaves turning black.

Nufar F1 Basil

This is the first type of basil that was grown to be fusarium resistant. Fusarium is a fungal disease common in basil and can be identified by a sudden wilting of leaves and death of the plant. Once the fungus has set in there is no way to cure it and the contaminated plant should be removed immediately and do not replant as the soil will be contaminated also. The disease can also be transmitted from plant to plant and from diseased seeds. There are several types that are resistant to this and that makes them quite popular.

Genovese Basil

This is a classic large leafed type originally grown in the area of Genoa Italy which is considered the Pesto capital of the world and is wonderful used fresh or frozen in pesto butter or salads.

Gecofure Basil

The name represents a contraction of Genovese Compatto Fusarium Resistant. This variety is very resistant to diseases and was bred for leaf quality and uniformity and has a very unique aroma and flavor it is one of the more compact types of basil to grow and is excellent for growing in smaller herb gardens or pots, you’ll just need a number of types of garden tools, you’ll just need a number of types of garden tools. Be sure to purchase a pair of garden gloves before attempting this project.. Be sure to purchase a pair of garden gloves before attempting this project.. There are several types of bush basil which grow very well in limited space or for pot gardens usually they have small fine leaves and are very compact. These are great for small modern gardens.. As with most basil they are quite easy to grow and are quite ornamental in looks.

Marseilles Basil

This is a superb bush basil which also qualifies for the dwarf type because it only grows to about 10 inches making it a perfect choice for pots or a wonderful border plant for any type of garden.

Spicy Global Basil

This is a very attractive form of bush basil. It has slightly larger leaves than most and grows in uniform round little bushes, it tends to be a bit hardier than many bush varieties making it a good selection for potted plant sales. Aside from the specific types there are many types of basil that don’t really fit in any category here are a few kinds that while they may be a bit harder to find will enhance any herb garden.

Indian Basil

This plant has beautiful purple flowers and deep green foliage. An indoor plant grower would treasure it.. An indoor plant grower would treasure it.. It grows to a height of around 3 feet. In India the seeds are used to make a very popular milkshake type of beverage called falooda, They soak the seeds in water and they form a gel then are stirred in rose syrup and crushed ice, they have no real aroma or flavor but add in the cooking action of the ice, and are also thought to restore body strength. It is also said that they are used in the treatment of intestinal worms and coughs. It has a religious tie to all Muslims because the emperor Aurangzeb declared that this basil should be planted on his tomb.

Oriental Breeze Basil

This basil has very bright green leaves and huge purple flower heads so will be at home in your flower garden as well as the herb garden. When planted in pots it reaches about 12 to 16 inches but in the garden will grow as high as 28 inches. The flowers appear from June to September and the leaves have a strong basil scent and flavor.

Lemon basil

Lemon basil is an annual herb native to China and Japan. Its scientific name is Ocimum x citriodorum. Lemon basil is commonly known as Thai basil, lemon balm, Japanese mint, Chinese mint, Vietnamese mint, lemon grass, sweet basil, and holy basil. It is often confused with other similar-looking plants such as bergamot, cinnamon and spearmint.

The leaves of lemon basil contain essential oils including linalool, geraniol, eugenol, limonene, carvone, menthol, methyl chavicol, cineole, camphor, borneol, thymol, terpinen-4-ol, α-terpineol, β-citronellal, γ-terpinene, trans-carveol, cis-linalool oxide, neral, nerol, geranyl acetate, farnesyl acetate, bornyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, phenylethylalcohol, 1- -3-phenylpropan-1-one, 2-hydroxy-5-isopropylbenzaldehyde, 4-allylanisole, 5-allyloxy-7-oxabenzothiazole, 6-acetylnaringin, 7-acetonylferulic acid.

Thai Basil

Thai Basil is one of the best tasting basils available today. This variety was developed by Dr. David Harkness at Cornell University. He started breeding different forms of basil in order to develop new cultivars that would produce more flavorful oil when pressed. His goal was to create a superior quality product that could compete with commercial products like Italian basil. After years of research he finally succeeded in creating what is now considered to be the finest culinary grade basil oil available anywhere. Today you can buy Thai basil seedlings online through our website. We offer both regular sized and miniature versions of these plants. If you want to start growing your own Thai basil seedlings just click on the link below:

If you prefer to purchase pre-germinated Thai basil seedlings please visit us again later this year. You can always check back to see if we have added anything new to our catalog.

Cilantro is another great addition to any kitchen garden. There are several varieties of Cilantro that range from mild to spicy depending upon where they were grown. Some people say that cilantro tastes better fresh off the stalk whereas others claim that it loses its flavor after being picked.

Purple Basil

Purple basil is a hybrid between Sweet basil and Holy basil. It has large dark blue/purple colored leaves which give it a unique look. Purple basil is not only good for eating but makes a wonderful garnish for salads. It is also used in Indian cuisine and some Asian dishes.

How to Grow Basil and Basil Growing Tips

There are two ways to plant basil; direct or indirect planting. Direct planting means that each individual plant is placed directly into the ground without using a pot. Indirectly planting involves putting the seeds inside a small container before transplanting them outside. Both methods work equally well although I recommend direct planting since it allows you to control exactly how much water each plant gets.

Direct planting requires no special equipment except perhaps a trowel. Simply place the seeds in moist soil and cover lightly with dirt. Keep the area around the young plants free of weeds until roots begin to form. Once the roots reach three quarters of their original size then remove the top layer of soil and add composted manure or fertilizer. Water regularly during dry spells. In time the plants should fill out nicely.

Indirect planting works well indoors or outdoors. For indoor use simply put the seeds in a shallow dish filled with dampened peat moss or vermiculite. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and keep warm until roots emerge. Remove the covering once roots are visible. Place the containers near a south facing window and provide plenty of light. Continue watering every day until the seedlings are ready to move outside.

When planting outside make sure to select a location that receives full sun all day long. Space plants 18″ apart in rows 30″ wide. Add organic matter to the soil prior to planting. Be careful not to over fertilize. Do not let the soil become soggy.

If you’re looking for the best tips to grow basil, look no further than here. They’re some of the best tips we have come across.