Real Estate Agent in East York - Better Homes And Gardens Real Estate

Abundant Basil All Season!

07 May 2017
Kevin Hartley

You can enjoy abundant Basil all season long with these easy tips.


  • Plant Basil in Full Sun. Water regularly and fertilize every 2 to 3 weeks. Low growing, colourful nasturtiums add a pop of colour and make a great container mate, as do grape and cherry tomatoes.
  • Grow away from driveways and busy streets so that exhaust won’t settle on the plants. Always rinse before using.
  • Flowering means the plant is putting much of its energy into seed production and away from leaf (read flavour) development, causing woody stems. Some varieties become bitter if they are allowed to flower. Pinching or trimming off the flowering spikes as soon as they appear will direct energy back to leaf production.
  • Water in the morning or early part of the day, before the hot sun causes evaporation, and never at night, which will encourage the growth of fungi and rot.
  • Soil should be damp but not soaking.
  • Plants in porous terracotta or wood containers drink more than ground plants.  
  • Smaller containers will require more frequent watering.
  • The more you trim basil, the more abundant and flavourful the leaves become. Cutting encourages leaf growth.

  • Harvest:  When it’s time to use the leaves for salads and cooking, taking the full stem is best. Cut the stem just above the bottom 2-4 leaves; leaving a few leaves to stimulate new leaf growth. If there are more leaves than you need, you can keep the stem fresh in a bud vase like a flower.
     
    Freezing is the best method for storing excess basil and preventing the leaves from losing flavour. Rinse, dry well and place whole stems of basil into zip-lock bags then freeze.

    Cinnamon basil adds the scent of cinnamon to a dish.
     
    Purple basil adds deep egg-plant and pinkish hues to your garden and salads.
     
    Thai basil has a sweet licorice-like flavor.
     
    I hope these tips help have you enjoying fresh grown basil all season. 

Thanks for reading. Questions or ideas for a future blog? Feel free to contact me here.

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Kevin Hartley, Broker is a Toronto based real estate Broker with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate | Signature Service, Brokerage. @Home is his lifestyle blog, an expression of his passion for home keeping though MAKING (Recipes), DOING (DIY), BEING (Health/Wellness) and DWELLING (Home Ownership, Sales & Maintenance).  Content not intended to solicit clients under contract.

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