Basil is an essential herb in every cook's repertoire—the magic ingredient in pesto, sauces and pasta and the perfect partner to tomato and mozzarella. This highly aromatic purple leaf basil, a hybrid with shiny leaves and dense habit, promises a summer of fragrant and tasty pleasure. Each plant is full and round with showy spikes of light purple blooms.
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.