Basil grows 10-12 inches tall It is a bushy plant with tooth edged leaves. The leaves are varying shades of green to dark green, depending upon variety. Fragrant, purplish white flowers grow on tall spikes. These attractive flowers are sometimes used in bouquets. They are popular with bees too.
In the kitchen, the many varieties of Basil finds it's way into a huge number of recipes around the world. None are more popular though, than the many Italian recipes. Basil grows well in herb gardens, flower gardens, containers and pots. They make a good indoor plant in a sunny window. Try growing them indoors over the winter.
Propagation: Basil are grown from seed. It is popular started indoors in containers first. Started early and placed in a sunny window, many lucky gardeners will be using the Basil leaves before others have even planted them outdoors. Basil can also be directly seeded into your garden after all danger of frost. Space seedlings or thin plants to 10" apart, in rows two feet apart. Some gardeners will grow just a few plants in clumps. They will tolerate a little crowding.
How to Grow Basil: Basil is very easy to grow. They prefer full sun. They do well in average soils and tolerate dry soil conditions. Water them during dry periods, at least once a week. Add a general purpose fertilizer once or twice a season. Harvest leaves and stems. Rinse well, then dry them in a cool, dry place. Make sure they are completely dried before storing. Or, you can freeze basil for later use.
Main Cooking Uses: Basil shines in kitchens around the world. From Thailand to the Mediterranean to the United States, there is no shortage of recipes. Basil is a standard in pizzas, spaghetti sauces, and pestos. Basil ads flavor to cheeses, soups omelets, and salads. It is also used fresh for sliced tomatoes, as a garnish, or for flavoring meats, and cooked in stir-fries.
Medicinal Uses: Basil is a member of the Mint family, and like most other mints, is mainly used in medicine for its digestive and anti-gas properties. Herbalists also recommend it for stomach cramps, vomiting, constipation, headaches, and anxiety.
Courtesy of lifestyle