If you are into herb gardening for culinary herbs, Italian Large Leaf Basil is a must have. Compared to Genovese, the scent and taste are sweeter and less clove-like.
Days to Harvest: 60-90
- Plant 1/4" deep. Space 12-18" apart.
- Grows to about 24-30" tall.
- Basil has a lower germination rate than many seeds, averaging just 60%. Fortunately, our seed packets contain many more seeds than you'll need.
- To get a jump on the basil season, you can start your basil seeds indoors, 3 to 4 weeks before planting time. Put 4 to 6 seeds in a pot. Once the seedlings have their first set of true leaves, thin to 1 or 2 plants per pot. Basil transplants well, but the plants will appreciate being protected from wind and sun for the first several days.
- Basil has a lower germination rate than many seeds, averaging just 60%. Fortunately, our seed packets contain many more seeds than you'll need. Basil is a hot weather plant and is very susceptible to frost damage. Seeds and plants should not be put into the ground until the soil is warm (65 to 70 degrees) and the weather has settled. Even a cool, 50 degree night will slow down the plant's growth for some time afterward
- Full sun. Water frequently.
- Italian Large Leaf Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a large plant with medium-dark green leaves up to 4" long.
- Basil is a hot weather plant and is very susceptible to frost damage. Even a cool, 50 degree night will slow down the plant's growth for some time afterward.
- Basil prefers growing in a lightly moist, slightly acidic, well-drained loamy soil that contains lots of organic matter (like compost!). Like most herbs, basil is not a heavy feeder, so there is no need to add any fertilizer to the soil around your plants. Basil is a good companion for tomatoes as it will tolerate being shaded as the tomato plant matures.
- To get the highest yield of tender and flavorful basil leaves, pinch back the tip of each branch, starting in early summer when the plants are just 6 inches tall. Continue pinching back the branches (as you harvest the leaves), pinching off any flowers that start to form. If the plant is not allowed to flower and set seed, it should continue producing high quality leaves right up to frost.
Fairly resistant to damage from pests and disease, Italian Large Leaf self-seeds easily and grows well in a container. Very aromatic and as popular with bees and butterflies as it is with chefs, this is one of our most favorite basils. Plant in full sun and harvest frequently to keep from going to flower.Once it flowers the taste becomes more bitter.
- This culinary herb is a sweeter pesto type basil with high yields in the garden.
Most of the general information provided is from the Vegetable Encyclopedia at www.gardeners.com, with additional facts provided by your friends at Seattle Seed Company.