Sweet Basil

SKU: HR1033
Sweet Basil seeds produce vigorous plants that grow big, mid-green leaves all summer long. Keep picking the growing tips and the 2 pairs of leaves below them for the kitchen. Read More

Exposure Full-sun

Season Warm season

Shipping & Returns

West Coast Seeds ships anywhere in North America. However, we are not able to ship garlic, potatoes, asparagus crowns, bulbs, onion sets, Mason bee cocoons, or nematodes outside of Canada. We regret, we cannot accept returns or damages for orders outside of Canada. The minimum shipping charge to the US is $6.99.

More details about Sweet Basil

Sweet Basil seeds produce vigorous plants that grow big, mid-green leaves all summer long. Keep picking the growing tips and the 2 pairs of leaves below them for the kitchen. More branches sprout more leaves. Sweet basil is a large-leaved Italian type that is glorious for pesto. Plant Sweet Basil seeds several times for a continuous supply until frost. Grow one on a warm and sunny windowsill through the winter, or try it as microgreens for a tasty and aromatic garnish. This basil makes excellent pesto, and it's extremely easy to grow. Just supply good drainage and lots of sunshine.

Quick Facts:

    • Large leaved, Italian type
    • Grow on a sunny windowsill
    • Vigorous plant grows big leaves
    • Sow several times for a continuous supply
    • Pinch the growing tips

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All About Sweet Basil

Latin

Latin
Ocimum basilicum, Holy basil is O. tenuiflora.
Family: Lamiaceae

Difficulty

Difficulty
Easy

We Recommend

We Recommend: Certified Organic Genovese Basil (HR1019). This is the standard by which to compare all of the other fine basil varieties. Traditional, heirloom, Italian basil is the best choice for pesto.
For Urban Gardeners: Certified Organic Dolly Basil (HR1025) has all the aroma of Genovese, but with slightly larger leaves, faster growth, and a better tolerance of the cool nighttime temperatures that can occur on balconies and rooftop gardens. It’s also slightly better suited for container growing.

Season:

Season: Warm season
Exposure: Full sun

Timing

Timing
Basil grows well in containers indoors at any time of year provided you can supply enough light. For outdoor growing, sow basil seeds throughout late spring for transplanting to the garden after the summer solstice. Or direct sow in early summer, once the soil has warmed up. Basil requires warm soil and full sun. Optimal temperature for germination: 21°C (70°F). Seeds should sprout in 5-10 days.

Starting

Starting
Sow seeds 1cm (½”) deep in sterilized seed starting mix. Basil is prone to damping off, so once seeds sprout, make sure they are adequately ventilated, and kept under very bright light. Thin to 20-25cm (8-10″) apart. Using bottom heat speeds germination.

Growing

Growing
Use any rich, loose, well drained soil. Once plants are 15cm (6″) tall, pinch out the growing tips to encourage really bushy growth prior to harvest. Watch for signs of flower buds forming in mid-summer, and pinch these off to promote more foliage.

Harvest

Harvest
Frequent harvesting will prolong the life of the plant. Basil leaves have the best flavour just before the plant flowers, and if you plan to preserve some of your basil or make a big batch of pesto, this is the best time to harvest. Flowering can be delayed by pinching or clipping off new flower buds.

Tear basil rather than chop with a knife because chopping tends to bruise the leaves. Add basil to food just before serving so as to get the full aroma and effect. Cooking for any length tends to make the minty side of basil come to the forefront.

Basil is best fresh, but can be preserved by drying or by freezing. To freeze, tear the leaves into small pieces and freeze small batches of them, with water, in ice cube trays. Once frozen, the cubes can be saved in zip-lock type bags and labeled for later use. This will preserve the fresh flavour of basil for up to four months.

Seed Info

Seed Info
Usual seed life: 3 years.

Companion Planting

Companion Planting
Basil is said to improve vigour and flavour of tomatoes, planted side-by-side. It's also good with asparagus, oregano, and peppers. Basil helps repel flies, mosquitoes, and thrips.

More on Companion Planting.

How to Grow Basil

Step 1: Timing

Basil grows well in containers indoors at any time of year provided you can supply enough light. For outdoor growing, sow basil seeds throughout late spring for transplanting to the garden after the summer solstice. Or direct sow in early summer, once the soil has warmed up. Basil requires warm soil and full sun. Optimal temperature for germination: 21°C (70°F). Seeds should sprout in 5-10 days.

Step 2: Starting

Sow seeds 1cm (½”) deep in sterilized seed starting mix. Basil is prone to damping off, so once seeds sprout, make sure they are adequately ventilated, and kept under very bright light. Thin to 20-25cm (8-10″) apart. Using bottom heat speeds germination.

Step 3: Growing

Use any rich, loose, well drained soil. Once plants are 15cm (6″) tall, pinch out the growing tips to encourage really bushy growth prior to harvest. Watch for signs of flower buds forming in mid-summer, and pinch these off to promote more foliage.

Step 4: Germination

Usual seed life: 3 years.

Step 5: Harvest

Frequent harvesting will prolong the life of the plant. Basil leaves have the best flavour just before the plant flowers, and if you plan to preserve some of your basil or make a big batch of pesto, this is the best time to harvest. Flowering can be delayed by pinching or clipping off new flower buds.

Tear basil rather than chop with a knife because chopping tends to bruise the leaves. Add basil to food just before serving so as to get the full aroma and effect. Cooking for any length tends to make the minty side of basil come to the forefront.

Basil is best fresh, but can be preserved by drying or by freezing. To freeze, tear the leaves into small pieces and freeze small batches of them, with water, in ice cube trays. Once frozen, the cubes can be saved in zip-lock type bags and labeled for later use. This will preserve the fresh flavour of basil for up to four months.

Tips!

Companion Planting: Basil is said to improve vigour and flavour of tomatoes, planted side-by-side. It's also good with asparagus, oregano, and peppers. Basil helps repel flies, mosquitoes, and thrips.

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