Greek basil is a highly flavoured and fragrant plant that can be found all over Greece- from remote villages to the most popular islands- it is used in both cooking and as a decorative plant that adds lush greenery to any space.
It’s quite low maintenance and easy to grow at home, so even if you are a beginner gardener this is a great one to start off with!
Where and When to Grow Greek Basil
Plant your basil in a place that enjoys full sun. It is great for pots, containers, but can also be planted in the ground. It requires rich soil that retains moisture yet drains well. Also make sure it is in a frost free position. Greek basil is an annual plant and its best to harvest before a cold snap. The size of the leaves on a basil plant will help determine the position you should give it in the garden, the larger the leaf the more shade they require. Tip: Plant your basil near tomato and capsicums to improve growth.
How to Plant and Grow Greek Basil
-Prepare soil before planting.
-Plant seedlings after winter has past and the soil has warmed in spring. Seeds can also be planted indoors earlier.
-Care for your plant by regular watering, pruning and only fertizilize if required. Fertilizing may alter the flavour and aroma, so try and avoid it unless it is needed.
-Harvest when leaves begin to grow on all shoots, starting with the top.
-Plant reaches maturity in 60-90 days. Be sure to harvest all you need for use and storage before allowing flowers to develop.
Tips & Facts
-Greek basil stores well for later use. Dry it in a cool space by hanging upside down in small bundles. When its dry, store in a tightly sealed glass jar and store in a dark spot.
-Fresh leaves may be frozen in plastic bags.
-Greek basil is used in quite a few Greek and Italian recipes and is mostly added to tomato sauce based dishes, pastas and topped fresh on pizza.
-Greek Basil is packed with vitamins and is high in antioxidants. Ancient Greeks, including Hippocrates “the father of medicine,” claimed basil is good for the heart, stomach and also helps heal wounds and sores.
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