Covered Topics

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Homegrown Basil Herb - Flowering

For nearly a decade, I have grown culinary herbs for use in my kitchen. One of the easiest herbs to grow at home is basil. Not only is basil an integral part of Italian cooking, it also plays an important role in the garden. This fragrant herb, which is a delicious complement to tomatoes sliced and served with olive oil and fresh ground black pepper, also serves to help protect tomato plants from pests when grown right beside them. Indeed, tomato and basil plants establish a symbiotic relationship when grown together. One helps condition the soil chemistry to aid the growth of the other.

After the main garden growing season, the basil may be dug up and transplanted into indoor planters and kept alive under full spectrum grow lamps all winter long. I have done this with basil, rosemary, and mint for several years. The basil and rosemary go into spaghetti and Italian soups while the mint makes for a great medicinal tea for stomach upsets or even just to relax with.

An additional benefit of herbs is most of them produce attractive flowers during their growing season. One thing to be aware of is if you let them flower, often they will stop growing or even die back - so you might want to keep the flower buds trimmed off a portion of your plants to keep them growing and producing edible leaves all season.

Clicking on the photo below will enlarge it so you can more clearly see the bloom.

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