Although there are many varieties of basil, Sweet Basil is the most popular. The plant is known for its glossy leaves, spikes of white flowers and a subtle peppery and sweet flavour. The basil plant is a part of the mint family and is scientifically known as Ocimum basilicum.
As well as adding delicious flavours to your food, Sweet Basil can also be greatly beneficial to your plants and soil, even more reason to add it to your garden!
- Planting basil as a companion plant with other produce helps you get bug-free vegetables and fruits as it repels insects such as aphids, beetles, tomato hornworms, mosquitoes and white flies.
- The plants which can benefit from simply being alongside basil are tomatoes, beans, beets, cabbage, asparagus, chili and bell peppers, eggplants, potatoes, asparagus, oregano and even marigolds.
Easy To Grow From Seed
- A great benefit to growing basil is that the plant is quite hardy and is easy to grow from see.
- Basil likes warm soil and can't tolerate frost, so it is best planted in early spring.
Basil Can Be Grown In A Pot
- Herbs are known to not grow well in pots, however basil actually thrives quite well when planted alone.
- Basil will be happy grown on a sunny windowsill and moved outside in warmer weather.
Basil Attracts Beneficial Insects
- Basil flowers are beneficial for your garden as they attract beneficial insects and pollinators like bees and butterflies, that especially love basil flowers and that you definitely want to have as a part of your garden.
Basil Is A Great Insect Repellent
- Due to its pungent smell, basil is great for repelling bugs such as tomato hornworms, flies, aphids, mosquito's and asparagus beetles.
How To Use
Basil is a hardy plant that flourishes under the following conditions:
- Like most plants, basil needs good drainage – stagnant water around basil will kill it.
- Choose a patch that’s fairly sunny but not in full, intense sunlight, 3-4 hours of sun will work well.
Seeds vs. saplings:
- Seeds need to be scattered and covered lightly with soil, water once a day. Once they sprout into 4-6 cm saplings, you may transplant them into pots.
- For saplings, tease the ball root a bit before planting them about 6 cm into the soil.
Protect it from the cold:
- Basil is sensitive to the cold and prefers sunny and warm conditions.
- Plant in early spring for basil that will thrive all summer long.
Harvest it often:
- Basil will grow faster if it is regularly harvested. Keep picking the new leaves to turn a small plant into a bush.
Pinch off flowers:
- Once basil plants bloom into flowers the leaves begin to lose their flavour.
- Cut off the flowers as they appear and the leaves will get their flavour back within a few days.
Mulch your plants:
- Mulch your basil plants to retain moisture.