Sweet on Sweet Basil

My kitchen garden contains a small variety of vegetables and herbs.  I typically grow four or five different herbs each season.  There's nothing as nice as snipping homegrown, fresh herbs!

Most herbs are easy to grow and require minimal care.  Parsley and chives are hardy and reliable herbs which will grow year after year if the root remains.  When left to form seed heads, dill reseeds itself.  Basil, an annual herb from the mint family, should be sown from seeds in the spring after the frost free date.  It is great as a container plant or as part of an herb garden.   

This year, I grew Stokes' sweet basil.  I sowed the seeds by sprinkling them a few inches apart and covering them with a light soil mixture of peat moss and potting soil. 

Basil likes slightly moist soil and needs at least six hours of sun.  Seeds usually germinate in seven days.  To harvest throughout the season, pinch off the leaves.  Or, cut the plant at the base, tie in a bunch and hang upside down to dry.  Basil is aromatic and wonderful fresh or dried; fresh in tomato and mozzarella salads or dried in tomato sauce and soups.  And of course, finely chopped and mixed with olive oil and garlic, it makes the delightful pesto.