Basil

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basilique basil

Ocimum Basilicum

Description

Perhaps the most popular and most used aromatic plant. It is a plant with a spicy smell and flavor. From a height of 30 to 45 cm, the colour of its foliage can go from green to violet. The size of the foliage can vary from large leaves resembling lettuce to very small leaves of 1.5 cm.

Culture

Basil is grown easily from seeds or cuttings. Because Basil is sensitive to the cold, the seeds germinate and grow better when the temperature of the substrate is at least 21 °c. The seeds will germinate in 5-7 days. If you sow seeds indoors for future use in the garden, wait 3 to 4 weeks to produce plants suitable for transplant when the soil temperature is above or equal to 15 °c. Cold soil and air temperatures can delay the growth of basil and even damage and blacken the leaves at 10 °c. Basil prefers a sunny place and fertile soil, well supplied with organic matter. Basil also likes to be well watered. Poorly prepared and nutrient-poor soils lead to slow growth of a basil that has little taste.

Harvest

A limited harvest of leaves can begin on young plants and as they grow, individual leaves and plant spikes can be harvested. Pinching the ends of the stems promotes the formation of a bushy plant and promotes the growth of leaves, giving a round plant. The floral buds of the basil should be removed by pinching them as soon as you see them forming. Leaving them on the plant will affect the taste of the leaves.

Use

It is best to keep the basil picked in the kitchen in a glass of water at room temperature. Putting the basil in the refrigerator gives discoloured and unattractive leaves. Basil is easily dried for storage and future use. It is used to flavor soups, stews, tomato dishes, meat, game, fish, egg dishes, herb butters and herbal vinegars.

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