Herb Garden Essentials: How to Grow Basil

Basil, native to Asia, has become a seasoning staple in cuisines around the world. The familiar and fragrant sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is grown as a summer annual that generally reaches about 2 feet tall. 

Even if you’re already committed to sweet basil as your herb garden mainstay, it’s worth taking a look at what else is out there. The smaller Greek basil (Ocimum minimum) and other compact varieties top out at 1 to 1½ feet — great if you don’t want it to take up quite as much space — or you can try a larger variety that may reach as high as 4 feet. There are basils with showy purple or dark red foliage or with leaves that are distinctly ruffled. There are also a number of basils with distinctive flavors, including Siam Queen, ideal for Asian cuisine, and those with flavors reminiscent of anise, clove, licorice, lemon and lime. 

Basil’s bright color and quick growth also ensure it can hold its own as an ornamental addition to thelandscape. Use the smaller varieties as a low border edging and mix varieties for a choice of flavors and a colorful garden patch. 

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Title: Herb Garden Essentials: How to Grow Basil
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