|A couple of basil bushes in my garden this summer|
How does Basil grow?
Every summer I grow some basil. I know some people who can just sprinkle around some basil seeds and end up with more basil than they can use. Not so in my garden. I have to coax basil out of the ground. It takes a long time (weeks!) to get to a decent size. This year I didn't manage to raise any from seed despite several tries, so all I have in the garden is a plant that my mother in law grew and one I bought from the market.
One year I grew basil and I didn't pick it enough, it just grew two long stalks about 1 m tall. Since then I have learnt to nip off the growing points so that it forms more of a bush. If it starts to flower too early, you can just pick all the flowers, otherwise, let it go to seed and you might have more success than I do at growing some more!
Originating in India, basil's botanical name is Ocimom basilicum, a member of the Lamiaceae family, which also includes mint, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, hyssop, thyme, lavender (I don't know how they work out these families!). There are lots of different varieties of basil, sweet basil is the most common, Thai basil, lemon basil, cinnamon basil purple basil are other varities. Greek basil is a different species, Ocimum ovabatum, and tastes similar with smaller leaves.
|basil flowers up close|
Macadamia pesto recipe
Put all the ingredients in a blender until mixed (not too smooth)
Do you grow basil? How do you use it?