Seed Pads Sweet Basil - Seed
Much used herb for delicious dishes!
These herb seed pads require no prior treatmentSowing
Sow under glass in March. Sow outdoors end of April to June. These handy seed pads (8 cm diameter) make it easy to grow your own basil. Fill an 8 cm pot (or larger) with potting compost and lay one seed pad on the top. Cover lightly with soil, press carefully down and sprinkle regularly with water. The seeds will germinate within 7-10 days. Each seed pad contains just enough seed for a full pot of basil leaves. Do not allow the plant to dry out.
Originally from India, we are more familiar with basil (Ocimum basilicum) from Mediterranean regions. This plant is an annual. Basil flowers with pink/red flowers. To lengthen your harvest time, prevent flowering. Basil is very good for you and very therapeutic - thought to aid digestion.Use
Freshly picked basil leaves are delicious to cook with and is part and parcel of the Southern European kitchen. Great with pasta dishes and in sauces and salads (raw). Makes an attractive edible garnish on soups, sauces etc. Some recipes describe chopping basil leaves and mixing with some olive oil and using it like that over various dishes and salads. It must then be kept in the fridge! Basil can also be added to red or white wine for an added touch of style and flavour! 'Chartreuse' is a special liqueur that uses basil. You can also make tea with it! There is no easy manner of keeping basil for longer. Fresh leaves can really only be dampened for use a few hours hence. Drying in the oven and pulverising in a mortar does work but a lot of the aroma will be lost.
Water extra in periods of drought and feed fortnightly with liquid fertiliser. Do not allow the plant to flower as a plant in bloom produces no new leaves.
Herbs on patio or decking.
These herb pots can be stood outdoors from mid-May. Acclimatise them by standing them in a shady spot for an hour longer every day. After 5 days they will be ready to stay outdoors in a sunny, partly shaded spot. For convenience, keep them near the kitchen door or window and then you will always have fresh herbs to hand.
You can harvest your basil about 6-8 weeks after sowing - usually July and September. Do not pick more than you need and steer clear of the centre of the plant. Using scissors or a sharp knife is recommended - be careful when pinching out with finger and thumb as it is easy to pull the plant up. Do not pick too much from one plant. Harvest as long as the plant makes new leaves and you will be able to pick from the same plant(s) for months on end.