What Can You Do With Culinary Degree Growing Herbs in Your Square Foot Garden – Basil

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Growing Herbs in Your Square Foot Garden – Basil

Growing herbs, especially basil, in your backyard garden is a great way to have a kitchen garden right outside your back door. Mixed herbs and fresh vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, leeks, and beets are easy to do with Mel Bartholomew’s recipe for growing a large garden.

If you haven’t picked up Mel’s book All New Square Foot Gardening, don’t delay. In it you will find information about growing basil. Along with learning how to grow basil, you will find it useful in growing other herbs such as cilantro, mint, and oregano. There are many types to choose from.

Basil, especially ‘Sweet Genovese’, is the best Italian pesto. But, be sure and try basil flavors like cinnamon, licorice, and lemon which are also great in many dishes. Six plants of “Sweet Genovese” will provide enough leaves to make pesto all summer long without you running out.

Another variety to try, especially if you like Asian food, is ‘Siam Queen’. Thai spicy basil, with its aroma and flavor, makes an excellent choice. Another good choice is ‘Holy Basil’ which was introduced to Europe in the XNUMXth century as a culinary and medicinal herb. You will want to experiment and have fun growing all kinds of basil in your garden.

Most varieties of basil seeds are available in the garden from February. Many varieties, such as the ones mentioned above, are available online from seed companies. Some companies, such as Pinetree Seeds, cater to the square meter grower by offering a small amount of seed per packet.

Growing and Caring for Basil

There are two ways to grow basil. The first option is to start the seeds 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost, or choose to plant outside well after the frost has passed and the soil has warmed.

A second way to grow basil is to buy seedlings (plants that are ready to take off) from your local garden. These are usually sold in 4 inch pots.

One good rule of thumb for planting time is that if you want a sweater outside, it’s too cold for basil. To give your plants the best chance to grow, plant them outside after the frost has passed and it’s warm and sunny.

One advantage of square foot gardens is that you can put plastic over your bed to insulate the soil. If you’re surprised by a cold snap after a frosty date, like we were a few years ago, just run a sheet of glass or a warming hoop over your bed for protection.

When planting basil in your garden, it’s a good idea to plant it next to your tomatoes to help them grow stronger and sweeter. Plant one basil per square foot if you don’t plan to harvest often. Plant two per square foot if you want to harvest more often for fresh, dried (undemanding), or frozen use.

During the growing season, pinch the flowers to save the plants, the energy of the leaves to grow. Pinch the stems above the leaves where new growth occurs. If you have two basil plants planted on a large foot, try to harvest the lateral stems so that they are not too crowded.

Harvest basil anytime and use only the leaves for cooking. The stems can be placed in the compost pile.

You will quickly see that growing herbs, especially basil, is easy using Mel’s method of growing a large garden. It has been a proven system for over 25 years worldwide. Create your own kitchen garden on your couch or anywhere near your home for easy access and to make growing herbs easy.

(Permission is granted to reprint this article, unedited, provided proper identification is made and the signature — support clause — is properly preserved)

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