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Basil

basil

Plant after the last frost date for your area. Fill the container with soil to one inch below the rim. Make 4 rows 2 ½ inches apart. Make your rows no more than ½ inch deep. Place basil seeds about 1 inch apart in each row.Cover the seeds with soil. Thin to one plant every 2 to 3 inches once the seedlings are 1 to 2 inches tall.

Matures in 65 days, but you can harvest as soon as the leaves are about one inch across when the buds have begun to form up. You can harvest multiple times from the same plant, as long as you do not cut the top of the main growing stem. Harvest the leaves from the main stem. To use basil wash the snipped leaves and pat them dry. Before chopping roll several together and chop until they are the size you want.

Basil is a great herb to grow. It develops into an attractive, bushy plant approximately one foot tall. It is used as a flavoring in spaghetti, soups, stews and salads. It is the main ingredient in pesto, which you can make easily by adding olive oil, garlic and a little salt. It is also a vegetable the deer will never eat. Fully mature leaves have a sweeter, milder taste and smell. Basil is great as a fresh seasoning and you can also freeze the leaves for later use.