Plant basil seeds in early spring after all danger of frost has passed. Basil seeds can be sown directly in the ground or in pots. If planted in ground, space seeds 10-12 inches apart. Basil requires warm sun, protection from the wind and well-drained moist soil. Basil needs 1 inch water per week and prefers to be watered in the middle of the day. Water from the top down once in a while to keep leaves vibrant. These herbs should be fertilized once with a complete fertilizer. Basil makes a wonderful potted indoor plant.
History of Basil
It is said that basil was found growing around the tomb of Jesus after his resurrection. Some Orthodox churches set basil out around church altars and use it to prepare holy water. In Africa and Asia basil is said to have a quality of divine essence. Indians swear their oath in court on basil and Mexicans use basil to try to attract money.
Cooking with Basil
Basil has a sweet, pleasant mild flavor that really enhances tomatoes, salads, fish, pastas, eggs, and cheese. When cooking with herbs remember 1 tablespoon fresh herbs=1 teaspoon dried herbs. Here are some recipes using basil.
- Infuse basil in hot water and add to your bathwater for an invigorating experience.
- Basil helps to deter flies.
Medicinal Uses for Basil
- Make a tea using basil to aid in digestion.
- Steep basil in boiling water and inhale the steam to help with mental fatigue