Basil – Growing Your Own

Q: My husband and I love to have fresh herbs. But when I buy fresh basil plants in the grocery they do not create enough new leaves to enjoy for any length of time. Can you plant enough seeds, or plants, in pots on a deck to last throughout the summer?

A: If you buy seedling basil plants from a nursery or grocery and plant outdoors in mid-April, you’ll be picking fresh leaves by mid-May. It’s a good idea to buy and plant basil every three weeks. Basil planted from seed (less expensive, of course) won’t be ready for picking until June. Try a purple-leaf or curly-leaf variety for visual interest. Basil is usually sold in four inch plastic pots. Look for a pot in which several seeds have been planted and which sports more than one basil seedling. When they are small, it is easy to divide the small plants and get several for the price of one.

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