A staple of home gardens around the world, the fast-growing basil plant is an herb that is a member of the mint family. With its origins in the islands of the south Pacific, basil’s popularity has spread it across continents, where it’s become a common place in Italian cuisines, as well as traditional Asian dishes. The most commonly type of basil found in home gardens is the sweet basil, but other varieties include lemon basil, cinnamon basil, and Thai basil. This warm weather-loving herb is a vigorous producer, just be sure to pick off leaves regularly to encourage new growth.
Plant Basil with these Great Vegetables, Herbs, and Flowers
So you’ve decided to plant basil in your garden? According to our research on basil, you can plant anything nearby!
Tips for Planting and Growing Basil in your Garden
Because basil requires warmth and heat to grow, it’s best to wait until soil temperatures reach above 70 degrees. Plant your basil crop in an area that receives lots of sunlight, at least 6 to 8 hours per day. Plant each basil seedling 10 to 12 inches apart to allow each plant room to mature. While basil plants like the heat, they also like moisture, and lots of it. Be sure to add a thick layer of much around the plants to keep soil moist through hot summer days.
Harvesting basil leaves from your home garden actually begins just a few short weeks after the seedling develops leaves. Once the plant is 6 to 8 inches tall, you can begin pruning leaves from the bottom working upwards. Regularly picking leaves, as well as pinching off any flower heads that begin to develop, will encourage the plant to continue to produce new growth and delicious basil leaves for your culinary needs. Basil is best used fresh, but can also be frozen immediately after being picked to retain freshness for later use.