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The Seed Program
Growing Hints

This is one of the many growing hints that are available as a bonus with a registered copy of The Seed Program.

Basil

Basil is a annual herb that is one of the most popular for seasoning food. It is particularly good with tomatoes, but compliments a wide variety of foods.

Basil is very sensitive to damage by frost, so plant it when the soil has warmed up in spring. Basil is easily transplanted, so it may also be started indoors for an earlier harvest.

You may start harvesting a few leaves while the plant is still small -- two or three inches high. Cutting the leafy tips off frequently will encourage a bushy plant. To harvest a large amount at once, wait until just before the basil plant flowers and cut it back to about two inches above the ground. Be sure to harvest all of your basil before the first frost, or your lush green plant will be transformed into a puddle of black slime. Basil can be dried for long term storage, or placed in a plastic bag in the freezer. Another method is to put basil in a blender with some water. Pour the liquefied basil into ice cube trays and freeze. When frozen, transfer the basil cubes to a plastic bag. Then just take a cube or two out to use in your cooking.

Sweet basil is one of the most common varieties, but there are a large number of different flavors to choose from, including lemon, cinnamon and anise. Purple ruffles and dark opal basil both have striking dark purple leaves that make it a good choice for a flower garden.

For more crops, more complete gardening information, a garden journal and a planting schedule you can customize for your region, purchase The Seed Program!

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