|Many gardeners lift plants in September, pot
them, and so maintain a supply of fresh green leaves until winter is far advanced.
Basil is an attractive annual, about 18 inches tall with
light-green, fairly broad leaves. The flowers are small,
white, and appear in spikes. There are several species of
cultivated basil, one having purple leaves.
Basil grows easily from seed planted after all danger of
frost has passed. Pinch stems to promote bushy, compact
growth. Avoid lush growth as it may reduce the flavor.
Green leaves can be picked about 6 weeks following
planting. It is best to cut leaves for drying just before
Spicy-scented basil leaves are one of the most popular
of all herbs used in cooking. Cooks favor basil for tomato
dishes in either fresh or dried form.
Culinary Oils and Vinegars
"Adapted from publication NE-208, produced by the
Cooperative Extension Services of the Northeast States."