Sweet basil is a terrific herb to have in your herb garden. It is pretty and fragrant. If you like to cook with herbs (especially Italian food) than it’s probably a must have. I grow mine in a pot in my greenhouse. It’s very easy to grow and doesn’t require much care.
Planting – It does well in pots but can be grown directly in the ground. Plant 10 – 12 inches apart. It will look like a small bush. I use clay pots for basil. I think it helps with drainage.
Soil – This herb likes moist, well-drained soil. I use Miracle Gro potting soil with fertilizer and rich composted soil at a 50:50 ratio.
Water– It likes moist soil. Don’t let it dry between watering.
Sun – It likes full sun. Make sure it gets at least 6 hours a day of full sun.
Fertilizer – I use the Miracle grow potting soil with six months of fertilizer in it and don’t have to supplement with anything else.
You should pick off the flowers to ensure that the leaves continue to grow. Basil will turn bitter if you let it flower. So, if you are using it for cooking, then you definitely want to prevent it from flowering.
There are two ways to store basil.
1)Freezing – Dry whole sprigs of basil, put them (intact) into plastic freezer bags and freeze them. This method keeps the flavor longer.
2)Drying – Pinch off individual leaves and lie them flat to dry. I like to lay them out on brown paper bags. When Dried, store in a glass jar. Glass preserves the flavor the best. However, drying without freezing will cause it to lose its flavor much quicker.
Definitely a great addition to any herb garden.