Basil is a bright green and flavorful herb common to kitchen gardens. Basil is generally considered to be an annual plant because it cannot usually survive temperature drops between the fall and winter growing seasons.
Basil is easy to grow from seed in well drained soil. Plant basil seeds in transplant pots under 1/4 inch of soil. Keep soil moist and seedlings should emerge in eight to 14 days. Transplant to larger indoor pots or an outdoor garden after four weeks of growth. Basil grows best in full sunlight.
When basil approaches the end of its season, the tops of the stems begin to flower. Pinch away flowers as they appear to extend the life of the plant.
In warmer climates, such as the Mediterranean region and Africa, basil can thrive as a tender perennial.
Basil is a common ingredient in Italian and Greek cuisine. A Caprese salad, using fresh basil leaves, sliced Roma tomato, fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of olive oil, is a simple way to enjoy the herb's flavor.
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