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Basil growing methods  Follow Greta – Herbs in Annascaul

Greta has asked that we post this regarding Basil growing which she wrote last week
Greta’a tel no is 086 3169716 and email is See also and
Greta is a constant blog writer.

Basil is a much loved herb which is finally reaching its prime.

If  getting involved with basil growing methods,   please follow these patterns

This precarious plant requires special attention. Though easily grown from seed sown May onwards, the difficulty arises at the potting stage and this is usually due to overwatering and fluctuating temperatures. Sow seed every two weeks until the end of July to secure cropping until late autumn.

The three varieties I have grown this year are Sweet Genovese (which sounds like the name of a song), its cousin Red Basil (which is an attractive maroon version), and Greek bush (a superb variety with tiny leaves and a delicate flavour). If we get a sunny summer they will all happily thrive in pots inside on a windowsill.

There are several tricks to maintaining healthy plants. Basil abhors water on its leaves so water the compost only. Use water that is at room temperature; ideally collect rainwater which carries lovely nutrients and will invigorate these plants. Never water later than mid-afternoon as the plant may suffer an overnight chill. Always allow the compost to dry out almost completely between waterings. Do not water on dull days. Applying a little water every day is not the way to go. Basil dislikes having roots which are constantly wet.

Though we associate this herb with Italy, its origins are actually in dusty India. Its famed flavour has found its way all around the globe and it is used extensively in worldwide cuisine. There are over 100 varieties and flavours greatly vary!

Its appealing aroma on a hot summer’s day should get us reaching for the scissors to snip a (maximum) 2″/ 5 cm sprig from the top. This promotes bushy growth and will prevent greenfly attack: these pests first land on the tips to suck the sap. Treat Basil – the ‘King of Herbs’ – kindly and be rewarded with a bounty of delicious leaves!