Many times, an established basil plant is less expensive than those packages of basil you find in the grocery store. So stop purchasing those packages of so-called "fresh" basil and pick up a basil plant. Here’s everything you need to know to start growing your own.
Just one well-pruned plant will supply you with about a 1/2 cup's worth of basil each week. So even if you're limited on space, simply find a sunny windowsill, fill a container with well-drained soil, and you’re in business. Basil for months.
Certainly the most common cultivar of basil is sweet basil or Genovese basil, but other culinary options — such as Thai, lemon, globe, and cinnamon — are also readily available.
The diversity of colors, flavors, fragrances and plant habits is truly mind-boggling! There are miniature types like Greek Dwarf, red-purple types like Red Freddy and Opal Purple, unusually scented types like Lemon Basil, Thai Basil and Lime Basil.
The bees don’t discriminate – they make Basil of all types their BFF and buzz happily from one long stem of basil flowers to the next. Can an insect experience Joy? It’s easy to believe that they can, when you watch them industriously working a stand of basil flowers!
One of the main differences between basil and many of the other herbs is the fact that it is a tender annual. It is very sensitive to the cold, so watch your plants carefully as the weather changes. All basil varieties love full sun, hot weather and moist soil. All can be started indoors in warm conditions and bright light, then set outdoors after the weather has settled into mid to late spring warmth. They grow quickly so even in my part of Central Texas I can start them from seed in June and still have wonderful plants until the first frost!