Home Garden How To Grow Basil For Your Best Pesto Yet

How To Grow Basil For Your Best Pesto Yet

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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.

Growing Basil

Start indoors in individual pots, plant seeds outdoors when frosts are over and the ground is warm, or buy bedding plants. If you start plants indoors, heating cables are helpful, since this is a tropical plant that doesn’t take kindly to cold. Plant in full sun, in well-drained soil enriched with compost, aged manure, or other organic materials.

Space large-leaved cultivars, such as Lettuce Leaf, 1½ feet apart and small-leaved types such as Spicy Globe 1 foot apart. Basil needs ample water. Mulch your basil plants to retain moisture after the soil has warmed. Pinch plants frequently to encourage bushy growth, and pick off flower heads regularly so plants put their energy into foliage production.

Read more: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/a20705652/how-to-grow-basil/

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