Get the basics on basil for your herb garden

18 March, 2015

Nothing quite replicates the taste of fresh basil. This herb, commonly used in Italian cooking, can be presented as the centerpiece of meal in a pesto sauce or as a subtle complement to a spaghetti dish. Whatever the occasion, basil can be used in your  backyard herb garden among your outdoor seating arrangements. Small planter boxes can easily be arranged around the sides of your decorative backyard furniture in order to give you the option to pluck basil  whenever you want to.

The where, when and how of planting basil
One thing you should keep in mind when working with basil is that it should be planted after the danger of frost is gone. You will know best about when frost may settle in to your local area, but keep an eye on weather patterns to be sure nothing unseasonable is coming up in the first months of spring. 

You have two options when starting new basil plants. Most garden centers will sell basil transplants designed to be used in cooking, but other options are available. If you want anything other than the more common types of basil, you'll need to grow from seed. These should start indoors with very sparing amounts of water – the seedlings  are easily drowned.

Basil maintenance
Once basil plants begin producing leaves, you should find ways to incorporate them into your dinners. You want to continually be cutting back and pruning your plant. Otherwise, it is possible for it to wind up losing flavor. If your basil starts flowering it will drastically reduce the amount of enjoyment you get out of your plant, so keep that from happening and you'll be fine.

Basil doesn't need to be used just for eating, either. Flowering varieties of basil and its purple-hued variants provide a wonderful additions of color to any flower garden. If you are interested in creating an edible garden alongside your outdoor recreational area, basil will help to fit just the spot for you.

Outdoor areas that are used for fun don't have to just be places for your outdoor seating arrangements. Building  a small, sustainable herb garden lets you really interact with your outdoor spaces. This way your back yard can just be more than just a place to put extra furniture – it can be a bona fide extension of your home. That kind of opportunity should be seized when you can.