Basil

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Sweet basil is a bushy annual with glossy opposite leaves and spikes of white flowers. This herb is one of the main ingredients in pesto sauce and can be used to add flavor to many recipes, it tastes specially good combined with tomato.

– If you want to grow it from seed you can do it outdoors after the last frost, or indoors if its still cold. I have read different instructions as to the planting: one that says to sow about eight seeds per pots and then thin to four seedlings when they start to sprout, and then another one recommends to plant two or three seeds. In my case I hadn’t yet read this when I started the planting so I think I went a bit crazy and put like… ten seeds in each of the two pots I planted… and I didn’t thin any seedlings. I hope the plant grows anyway… I’ll keep you updated on that so you can learn from my mistake!
Also about growing it from seed, at least in my case, it has been veeeery slow. I mean, I planted the basil the same day I planted the  parsley, and while the second has grown a lot, the basil is still the seedling you see in the picture below.
– It’s a good idea to pair basil with tomatoes and with pepper because it is said it improves its taste and repels horn worms and aphids.
– About watering it is advised to keep the soil damp, but not soaked. Basil does best in well-drained soil, and should not be subjected to standing water. The best one can do is water the basil plants once a day, in the morning, so the water has time to soak in and evaporate rather than sitting on the plants overnight.

Maybe you will like to read when I sown basil indoors on yoghurt pots, when I planted it outdoors, and when I planted another basil seedling in a re-purposed water bottle (sadly this last one  didn’t make it…)

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Sources:
– “The Edible Balcony” book by Alex Mitchell.
– http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/basil-growing-guide
– http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Basil
– http://fichas.infojardin.com/condimentos/ocimum-basilicum-albahaca-alhabega-alfabega-basilico.htm

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