It’s official: Basil is one of the best herbs for anglers. The International Herb Society declared that basil was ‘Herb of the Year’ for the year 2003. Anyone can see why basil is such a terrific herb for gardeners: it’s one of the simpler herbs to grow, has excellent health benefits and is utilized in many unique styles of cooking. The most popular is Italian cooking, particularly those with a tomato-base. Many others use it to its benefits for heart health and anti-oxidant advantages.

About Basil

If you ever wondered why basil has such a strong taste, it’s because it comes from the mint family. There are a few important differences between basil and mint nevertheless. Among the best ones, especially for novice anglers, is that basil can easily be grown from a seed, whereas mint can be rough. Most anglers skip this part and rather get some cuttings from their friends and use them instead.

When to Plant it?

This herb grows best if it’s planted in early spring. It can also be planted in late winter, but be certain the frosts have completed or your plant won’t last very long! Experienced anglers often develop basil as an indoor herb for about 4 weeks, then after some expansion has been established it can then be replanted outside.

Basil comes in the hot, humid land of India, so unsurprisingly needs as much sun as possible. Temperatures that normally cause bolting (Check my posts if you would like more info on bolting) really help basil to grow. 80-90 degrees seems is the ideal temperature to cultivate basil. Because of this, it tends to have a difficult time , so many gardeners grow it in a pot and move it back inside at the first sign of winter.

It requires a Natural Fertilizer

Obviously, if you would like to consume your basil, you’ll need to be certain that your fertilizer is natural, not all fertilizers are. Another very important thing is watering, because it will need loads of water to maximize the taste of the harvest.

Flowering can also lessen the flavor of your own harvest, so be certain you snip off and buds before they could grow. You also need to harvest before the blossoms have an opportunity to bloom.

Harvesting Basil

The rule of basil is to harvest as much as you like, but always leave about 7-10 inches of expansion, so the plant can regrow. The one issue you’ve after harvesting is what to do with your basil. It’s tricky to freeze basil, so lots of individuals wind up using it refreshing. Unless you’re planning an Italian feast, this can be troublesome.

Conserve your own basil

Drying is possibly the best. Hang 5-6 stems upside down in a hot, dry place (70-80 degrees is the best ) and then when they dry out, crumble them into an airtight container. This takes several days, so often gardeners speed up this process by putting the stalks in an oven (For 3 hours or so) or a microwave (4 minutes should be fine). Unfortunately these two approaches lose some nutrients and taste.

Another common method is to maintain the herb in olive or coconut oil. Not only does this maintain the herb fresh, but the flavor infuses into the oil/ vinegar and makes it more flavorful.

Using Basil

While the list of dishes which basil tastes good with is almost infinite, it goes well with tomato dishes in which it actually brings out the berries flavor. Pesto is another terrific way to use basil and actually get a great deal of great flavors from it. Basil tea could be tasty, but a little strong flavored, so add a little honey or another herb (for instance, mint) to take some of the edge off. Then sit back and enjoy!

 

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