How To Grow Basil And Their Benefits

Basil is a versatile herb that is used in many different cuisines. Essential to Italian cooking, basil adds a delicious, distinctive taste and smell to many dishes. It is commonly used in pestos, salads, pastas, pizzas, tomato dishes, and many more. In this article, we will share how to grow basil, the nutrients, and health benefits that can be gained from eating them.

Varieties Of Basil

There are over 60 varieties of basil, some with red and purple leaves, each having its own distinct flavour. Sweet basil is the most common and popular variety, but there are many others to choose from. Here are some of our favourites: ‘Genovese’, ‘Lemon’, ‘Sweet’, ‘Cinnamon’, and ‘Dark Opal’.

How To Grow Basil

Sow seeds indoors from late February-late july. Sow thinly 1cm deep, 6-12 inches apart in a container/pot with well-drained, moisture-retentive, organic soil/compost. Place you basil on a window seel, or any sunny part if your house as basil needs around 6-8 hours of sun per day.

Plant your basil outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. If roots start showing from drainage holes, move your basil plant into a bigger pot/container. Water regularly in the mornings, and keep the soil moist, leaves will start to wilt when basil needs more water. Fertilisers are optional, but if you want the best results, feed with a balanced fertiliser, such as 10-10-10.

Nutrients And Health Benefits

Basil contains many nutrients including vitamins A and K, calcium, iron, and manganese. Basil also supplies beneficial plant compounds that have antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and other health properties. In addition, basil may reduce memory loss, reduce depression, reduce stroke damage and support recovery, improve cholesterol and blood sugar, prevent certain cancers, and increase mental alertness

Basil is a versatile herb and can be added to many meals. For example add basil to pizzas, pastas, salads, curries, pestos, sandwiches, rolls, wraps, sauces, tomato purée, soups, etc.