(Ocimum basilicum) Annual. Italian large leaf is a Genovese-type basil, but with very large leaves so you only need a few at a time to add to a dish. Produces a bushy plant with large, aromatic leaves.
Use it in salads, add to scrambled eggs, or make your own fresh pesto. The flowers are also wonderful to add to salads or tea and are highly attractive to pollinators.
Basil can be used for culinary purposes, medicinal purposes, as a pest repellant, and as a garden plant companion.
|Germination Temperature||Planting Depth||Days to Germination||Plant Spacing||Row Spacing||Sun|
|65-85||1/4"||5-10||4 seeds every 10"||24-36"||Full|
Sow outdoors 1-2 weeks after average last frost, when soil temperatures are warm. Sow indoors 6-8 weeks before transplant.
Easy to grow from seed.
Wait to sow until outdoor nighttime temperatures are above 50°F.
Basil is very frost sensitive.
Basil should be harvested before the plant flowers and is best harvested in the morning to maintain fresh flavor. Avoid harvesting in the late afternoon heat.
Basil leaves grow in sets of two and the leaves are positioned exactly opposite from each other on the stem. If you examine the point where the leaves meet the stem, you should see two sets of tiny leaves growing out of the junction. To harvest, pinch or cut each stem directly above a set of leaves to encourage the development of bushy lateral branches for greater leaf production.
After harvesting, place the basil in a short glass or vase of water and store away from direct sunlight. This will help to keep it fresh until you’re ready to use.