Back to garden page


Illustration of SPH - Dell - Nourish - Garden - Basil


Basil is also known as sweet basil or “tulsi”, and there are other popular types of basil including lemon basil, Holy Thai basil, African Blue basil, and Mediterranean basil. It is a tropical crop native to India and has been cultivated for over 5,000 years. Basil tastes peppery, minty, and like it has a hint of anise in it. Fresh sweet basil is often used raw in homemade pizza, pesto, salads, infused oils, desserts, and cocktails.

Nutritional Value

Ancient Greeks referred to basil as the “royal herb”, where it could be used for religious reasons, cooking, or as medicine.

  • Vitamin K important for blood clotting

How to Shop

Choose basil with crisp stems and fragrant, bright green leaves.

How to Grow

When: To plant directly outside, wait until temperatures are between 50-70 F. Transplants may be started 6 weeks before the last frost.

Where: Full or partial sunlight in moist, well- draining soil free of insecticides.

How: Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and 10-12 inches apart. Mulch around the plants to retain moisture, prune once seeds have been produced, every time 6-8 leaves grow, Cut center shoot after 6 weeks to prevent flowering.

Harvest: Harvest once plants reach 6-8 inches in height and for regular maintenance.

How to Store

Use fresh basil as soon as possible; do not refrigerate it. For long-term keeping, freeze or dry the basil.