Ocimum basilicum unless noted. How to Grow: Annual. Germination: 5-14 days, 70-75°F. Harvest starts about 10 weeks after sowing. Basil is a pick-and-come-again herb which produces well when heavily picked. Grows best in well-drained rich soil. Sensitive to frost. Direct sow after all danger of frost, or start indoors 4 weeks before last frost. Lightly cover seed (no more than two times the depth of the seed). Spacing: In flats space seeds ½” apart. Thin to 2” apart and transplant in 3-4 weeks. Direct sow 3-4 seeds every 12”. Thin to one plant when plants have 4 leaves. Medicinal: Basil has been used as a carminative. Research indicates that it may inhibit gastric acid secretion. Holy basil has additional medicinal properties.
This variety comes from Naples and is highly prized for its strong flavor. Giant rumpled 6 in. leaves are great for pesto, though the thick leaves are harder to dry than most. Vigorous 3 ft. plants are pest-resistant and slow to flower. Pkt (0.15 g, 180 seeds)
(O. gratissimum) [Family heirloom from an Eritrean exchange student. Introduced by SESE 2008.] Compact plant with beautiful, purple-tinged green foliage, stunning in flower. It has a strongly attractive and spicy odor, and is much used in African cuisine. Pkt (0.12 g, 116...
(O. sanctum) Spicy scent of clove, lemon, and cinnamon. Grown outside holy sanctuaries in India. Traditionally used in ceremonies, in food, and for tea. The tea is said to have many health benefits. Self-sows readily. Pkt (0.12 g, 211 seeds)
Spicy flavor reminiscent of anise and cloves goes well in curries and many other Asian dishes. Purple stems and flowers contrast attractively with the 2 in. green leaves. 12-18 in. plants. Pkt (0.18 g, 102 seeds)
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Certified Organic by Quality Certification Services
Heirlooms introduced before 1940
Varieties well-suited to the Mid-Atlantic and further South