Days to Germination: 5-10 days
We know you’re itching to plant these, but . . . wait! Basil originated in the tropics and cannot thrive in cold weather. Direct-sow after all danger of frost has passed, spacing seed 1⁄2" to 1" apart in well-draining soil. To start as transplants, sow the Basil seed in seed starter mix 6 weeks before the last frost date. Provide heat, bright sunlight and good ventilation. Keep the growing medium barely moist, almost dry. Transplant the Basil seedlings outdoors after the last frost in a sunny spot with moderately fertile soil. Thin or space the plants in the garden 10" to 12" apart for proper growing conditions. Pinch back tops and flower buds to extend leaf production. Harvest the largest leaves from the top and sides to help create a bushier plant. Feed occasionally as needed with kelp or fish emulsion. Herbs dislike chemical fertilizers and Basil is no exception.
Basil-Basking Global Cuisine
Pesto: Not Just For Pasta
Pesto sauce made with homemade Basil is great on spaghetti, but have you ever tried freezing it and then stuffing pieces of it under the skin of a chicken before roasting? Use it in vinaigrette, spread it on Tomato sandwiches or on a burger instead of mustard. Put it in omelets, in soups, in Thai curries, in Potato salad. Spread it on swordfish steaks before you put them on the grill.