An Overview of Sweet Basil
A member of the family Lamiaceae, basil is often referred to as great basil. The plant grows throughout tropical regions including Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and Mexico. Due to its tenderness, this plant can be used throughout the world. As well as many different types of basil, there are several related species and hybrids as well.
More to love in Sweet Basil:
- This type of basil is milder or liquorice-flavoured compared to common basil
- Its sweetness makes sweet basil a key ingredient in pesto sauce, which is a delicious tomato-based sauce
- Sweet basil has a fresh flavour, with a finish of black pepper and subtle anise and mint notes
- The leaves are also commonly used in cooking, though some people eat the leaves raw
Benefits of Sweet Basil
In South Asian cuisine, sweet basil leaves are widely used since they can withstand high temperatures better than common basil. It can be used in bean and cheese dishes, chicken and eggs dishes, fish dishes, marinades, marrow and mushrooms dishes, pasta dishes, pasta sauces, and salads. Eating basil may lower blood pressure due to its eugenol, which blocks calcium channels. In the herb, the essential oils can help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
How to sow and care for Sweet Basil
About seven weeks before the last frost in your area, prepare seed starting trays, newspaper pots, and peat pots. Place sterile seed starting medium in the pots. Plant 2-3 sweet basil seeds per cell or pot at a depth of a centimetre, and firm the soil well on top. Make sure the trays or pots are warm (20-25 °C) and moist until germination occurs. In ideal conditions, germination takes about a week. Seedlings should be thinned to just one per cell after they have at least one set of true leaves.
Once the seedling has six true leaves, you should remove the top set of leaves. Your plants will grow strong and bushy. You can pot up your basil plants into increasingly larger containers as they grow. If you want a strong plant, bury the stems. Make sure they have enough light. Basil requires full sunlight in order to thrive. Let them grow for a while. Make sure the environment is warm. Basil cannot tolerate cold temperatures.
Note: This Overview is intended as a guide only since cultural practices and climatic conditions may vary.
- Season: Summer
- USDA Zones: 10-11
- Days to Harvest: 60 Days.
- Height: 12-24 inches
- Soil Type: Moist
- Temperature: 15-18 degree celcius
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Clade: Tracheophytes, Angiosperms, Eudicots, Asterids
- Order: Lamiales
- Family: Lamiaceae
- Genus: Ocimum
- Species: O. basilicum
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