BASIL, Genovese Italian

 

Ocimum basilicum. Fresh basil is one of the most popular herbs. It is admired for its flavour and aroma, as a companion plant in vegetable gardens and for its lovely foliage colours in ornamental plantings. Basil leaves are good in salads and add zest to tomato dishes. Genovese has large (2”/5 cm) uniform dark green leaves with strong basil flavour and aroma. This Italian classic is a favourite for pesto and tomato-based sauces. Pinch out growing tips to encourage bushier plants and to delay flowering.

HarvestingBegin pinching stem tips when plants are 6" (15 cm) tall to promote leaf production. Every two weeks, cut stems just above a leaf node. Do not remove more than one third of a plant’s foliage at one time. If plants go to flower, cut them back to one-third; they may re-sprout tender leaves. To keep blooms from forming, just pinch the growing tips every week, which will encourage branching and more leaves.
StoringStore fresh, leafy stems in a jar of water (unrefrigerated) for a few days; change the water daily. To dry leaves, spread in a well-ventilated, shady area until dry and then store in airtight containers out of direct sunlight.
Maturity80 days
Height18 - 24” (46 - 61 cm)
Spacing10 - 12” (25 - 30 cm)
LightFull Sun
SoilRich, organic and well draining
pH Range6.0 to 7.0
WateringKeep soil moist not wet; overwatering will encourage root diseases
FertilizingBalanced fertilizer at time of planting; side-dress to encourage continued growth
Nutrients RequiredNitrogen = high, Phosphorus = moderate, Potassium = moderate

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