HEIRLOOM. Great basil with tomatoes, in salads or sauces.
Native to Southeast Asia, basil has been used in cooking and for fragrances for centuries. Brought to Europe in the Middle Ages, it thrived in the Mediterranean region as well as around the Caspian and Black Seas. Burpee first offered basil in 1908. This Greek basil has tiny leaves on dome shaped, 8" tall plants. Great with tomatoes, in salads or sauces, and it makes an admirable ornamental in containers and the garden too.
Sow basil seeds in average soil in full sun after danger of frost. Sow seeds about 6" apart and cover with 1/4" of fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
How to Grow
Thin to stand about 12" apart when seedlings are 1-2" tall. To promote branching, pinch the shoot tips when the basil plants are 4-6" tall. To encourage the production of more leaves, pinch off the flower heads as they form. Keep well-watered during heat of summer and check daily for signs of wilting.
Harvest when buds begin to form up until frost. Basil is considered the premiere culinary herb. Use the fresh leaves to make pesto or as a seasoning for fresh or cooked tomatoes. Basil is also a great flavoring for oils and vinegars. The bushy basil plants, especially the purple-leaved types, look great in the flower garden.