If you grow nothing else, you should grow basil. After all, nothing tastes quite as delicious as a homemade pesto — and buying those individual packs of basil leaves to make it sure can add up in cost. You can even grow inside year round.
Sweet basil, the most common variety with a subtle anise flavor, is a busy annual that grows 1 to 2 feet high with glossy leaves and spikes of white flowers. Many cultivars are available with different nuances of taste, size, and appearance, including cultivars with cinnamon, clove, lemon, and lime overtones, as well as purple-leaved types such as Dark Opal and Red Rubin.
One of the most popular herbs in the garden, basil adds fine flavor to tomato dishes, salads, and pesto. Here’s everything you need to know to grow your own basil.