top herbs to grow
basil is one of our best selling herbsbecause it tastes so good. easy to grow either in the ground or ina container, it's a great herb for the summer as it grows quickly in warmweather to yield big harvests. for an assortment of flavors, you can growvarious types of basil together in flower beds or containers. popularvarieties include cinnamon basil and
top herbs to grow, thai basil for asian dishes.purple basilbecause it's so pretty. spicy globe basil for small leaves that areeasy to sprinkle atop your favorite dishes and sweet basil for italiandishes and terrific pesto. basil does best with at least six hours of sunlight.set out plants at least two weeks after
the last spring frost or plant during thesummer. check the label to learn how much spaceto leave between plants, usually 12 to 18 inches. if planting in a container, use alarge pot so there is enough soil to support growth and so it won't dry outtoo quickly in hot weather. in the ground, pick a spot that doesn't collectwater, but drains well to avoid causing root rot. basil is very frost sensitiveso protect it, in case of a late cold spell, by bringing it indoors orinsulating it with a frost blanket or other covering. it really doesn't liketemperatures below 50 degrees fahrenheit so you may find it sulking and yellowing if theweather is unseasonably cool. because
it is so leafy basil will wilt quicklyin hot weather. water as often as you need to keep the soil moist but notsoggy. for best growth, fertilize with liquid plant food every couple of weeks.keeping the basal stems pinched encourages the continual production oftender new leaves and prevents the plant from flowering and producing seeds. to harvest a big bunch for pesto or just tokeep the plant productive, shear off the top third of the stems regularly oncethe plant has reached 12 to 18 inches tall. also, never cut the woody part ofthe plant near the base or the basil won't grow back.
harvest basil leaves anytime after theyoung plants have reached a height of six to eight inches. keep in mind two or three plants willyield plenty of basil unless you're making lots of pesto. when the nightbegins to cool down plants will slow their growth dramatically. at the firstprediction of even the lightest frost, go ahead and harvest all your basilbecause it will quickly turn black in
cold weather. make easy work of this bycutting off the entire plant at ground level then picking off the best leaves foruse. cutting the ends of the basal stems and placing them in water will keep themfresh for days and fill your home with a