Basil What ?

Bsil (Ocimum baslicum) is a popular aromatic culinary herb that is used quite frequently in Italian and Southeast Asian cuisines as a culinary and medicinal herb as well. Originally from India, there are now 50 to 150 estimated species of basil. Originally, all the basil that you would see in a grocery store would not be found there because it is a food item that is difficult to grow. Growing your own basil is simple and can be accomplished by anyone. All it takes is a container, seeds, and a little know how and effort. Here are some steps and some advice for the novice gardener who is interested in growing their own basil.



BailMany people are under the misconception that bail is a spice while some people think it is a vegetable. The correct name fois sweet basi. There are many varieties of bsil, the narrow-leaf “Sweet peak” is often used in Italian cooking, and there is a pepper called black panda that is used in Thai cuisine. Did you know that basi seeds are used in Italian and Chinese cuisine? The correct names for  are garlic and chilli – they are similar in taste. 

Pick The SitsThe l you want to grow has to have a lot of sunlight, preferably 6 or more hours a day, so you want to pick a sunny location and make sure the soil is rich with organic nutrients. Chose a purple or dark green container that has large holes for drainage and make sure that the pot has a drainage hole at the bottom.

What Basil NeedsThe next step is to find seeds that are best for the type of asil you want to grow. Usually you can buy these seeds from your local nursery, or you may find them online. There are indepently labeled potting soil available to buy, or you may even make your own. To make your own potting soil add equal parts of:

– agricultural lime- worm castings – (available online)

– compost (vermicompost, mushroom compost, or peat moss)

– ground rock or crushed rock

– potting soil – additives like peat moss and vermicompost

(Make sure to check out the recipe for natural insect pest control at the bottom of this page)

(A mixture of garlic, onion, and chives will keep insects away.)

Planting asil SeedsOr, if you prefer, purchase plants from your local nursery. Take care of the plants until they are established, and plant out in the garden when the weather is warm and the soil is prepared. If you make your own potting soil, you can use the asil for several months after you transfer it to your garden.

(Beware: If you live in a hard-sun area, water your asil regularly)

Please spray your plant regularly to keep insects and diseases under control.

Harvesting BasiYou can begin to harvest some basi when the bail has started to flower. Simply cut the stems from the plants near the ground. If you choose to dig up your basil plants, make sure to dig up the entire plant.

Basil is primarily used in Italian and Asian cuisine. The flavour of bail is key to why it is used so often in Italian and Asian dishes. Mainly used in: 

– Tomato sauces- Bail- Pesto- arresting sauces- Soups- Misc. Zucchini relish

Some varieties of bsil do not last as long as the others. contracting basil leaves as soon as your crop is over is a good idea. You can store it in a cool place or you can just hang it upside down in a cool dark place.

The tastiest part of bsil is when you can pick it right from the plant. So, when you are out harvesting basi, be sure to try some of my friends suggestion above.