Easy Container-Grown Basil

comments (16) May 18th, 2012

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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One packet of basil seeds is worth its weight in summer salads.Click To Enlarge

One packet of basil seeds is worth its weight in summer salads.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

Basil is one of the most versatile herbs in my garden and it's so easy to grow, too. A packet of seeds produces enough fresh basil to keep my creative juices flowing all summer long.

I tear the tender leaves into salads, process them into pesto, steep them in vinegar (and vodka), mix leaves into cocktails, blend with butter, use them on sandwiches, and save some for drying

Flavored basils, like lemon, lime, and cinnamon add a new dimension to ordinary recipes, too. Colorful basil plants, like 'Purple Ruffles', look as lovely as any ornamental accent plant. 

One of the simplest and least expensive methods I've found for growing basil is to simply sprinkle the seeds on top of prepared soil, either in the garden or a container. Cover seeds with a thin layer of soil and keep moist.


Learn more...

How to Grow Basil

Homegrown/Homemade Videos: Basil


Basil will sprout and grow quickly. Start clipping the leaves when plants have three to five sets of leaves and don't be shy about pruning the plants. Cutting them back encourages healthy new growth and branching. Pruning also keeps the plants from flowering, although the flowers are delicious, too!

One of my favorite recipes for a quick salad is to cut thick slices of garden-fresh tomatoes, top with several tablespoons of snipped basil leaves, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, if you like, and serve at room temperature.

Do you have a simple summer recipe that calls for fresh basil? Please share it here.

posted in: basil, containers, 112925998

Comments (16)

jaynorris10 writes: soo nice.
Posted: 5:52 am on June 13th
WillowMchenry writes: I like basil salad
Posted: 12:20 am on November 14th
Nathan_Burris writes: Beautiful.....
Posted: 9:00 am on October 27th
Emily_Rose writes: Nice....
Posted: 3:08 am on October 27th
LeonPorter writes: OSUMM keep it up .. great work

Posted: 6:33 am on October 26th
CharlesFrasor writes: Summer favourite salad dish
Posted: 6:12 am on October 26th
SteafenRoid writes: I love it
Posted: 12:48 am on October 26th
RandFish writes: Great job
Posted: 3:03 am on October 23rd
BenjaimWelch writes: I love lettus
Posted: 2:48 am on October 22nd
KodecRex writes: Good share`
Posted: 1:51 am on October 22nd
RedRoush writes: Basil is the #1 favorite in my herb garden. My little Grandchildren have come to appreciate herbs and understand how they are used in cooking. When they are over, they always pick a leaf of their favorite herbs to taste and name what foods it should be cooked in. They love to pick basil when we make spaghetti, and mint and chocolate mint for iced tea.
Posted: 1:13 pm on October 21st
tiffanyj writes: Pizza dough (you can make it or buy it from your local pizza shop, just ask!), rub on olive oil and garlic, add fresh tomatoes sliced thin and fresh mozzarella. bake in hot oven till cheese is melted. Cut up fresh basil, sprinkle on top once pizza is out of oven. You can drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (1:1 ratio) and salt and pepper and you'll NEVER eat a frozen pizza again! soooo sooo good!
Posted: 2:48 pm on July 2nd
penster47 writes: I dearly love fresh basil. My favorite recipe for fresh basil is to mix it with al dente pasta, usually linguini, some olive oil, lemon pepper, garlic salt, and serve with fresh Baby Field Greens,and boneless chicken breast that has been sauted in olive oil, garlic, and lemon pepper. Yum!!!
Posted: 9:26 am on July 2nd
Ruth writes: Pesto is a summer favorite with my clan. I blend freshly picked basil (lots of it) with olive oil (enough to cover the blender blade), garlic (lots), walnuts (a handful), and parmesan (maybe half a cup), adding water as needed to keep the blender going. I usually serve it over spaghetti and mix it in with two forks.
Posted: 8:09 am on May 22nd
WesternGardener writes: Thanks for sharing, Mike! That sounds like a perfect recipe to me. It's a fresh take on the traditional sliced tomato and mozzarella salad. I can't wait to try it :)

Posted: 5:57 pm on May 18th
MikeTheGardener writes: I like to use fresh grown basil, cut it up and mix it in with diced cherry tomatoes (from the garden of course), olive oil and fresh mozzarella cheese.
Posted: 12:45 pm on May 18th
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