|My Potted Basil ((Ocimum basilicum)|
The seeds can be sown directly into the garden after the last frost, in early spring. Basil likes to be planted in full sun, in well-drained soil, and thrives well using composted manure or other organic materials as a mulch. Basil can be affected by too much water, be sure not to over-water the plants.
When grown in pots by the front door or on a back porch, basil will be a repellent against mosquitoes. In the garden planted as a companion plant it will be a repellant from mites and aphids. Basil can slow down the growth of milkweed bugs, and this allows it to be a useful fungicide.
Basil is easy to start from cuttings. Use a tall glass or a bottle and fill it with water. Cut a 4" to 6" piece of basil and remove the lower leaves, leaving about three sets of leaves on the stem. Put the cutting into the water and in about two weeks there will be nice roots allowing you to plant it in a small pot with quality potting soil.
Whether you plant basil to harvest and eat or for a repellent for insects or even as a annual flower for it's beauty in the garden, you can't go wrong with this plant. I love how it looks and I love being able to harvest the leaves and make a tasty salad or pesto for pasta. Basil is a wonderful herb, plant and green that even beginner gardeners can grow and harvest.
I wanted to share a delicious way to use your basil with this recipe:
Fresh Basil Pesto RecipePrep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 1 Cup