Large leafed Thai Basil is a cultivar of sweet basil and is commonly used in south east Asian cuisine. Compared to Mediterranean sweet basil, it has a more pronounced liquorice or anise flavour. It is very fast and easy to grow, and grows very well in a pot or container . It produces flower heads that are deep burgundy, which contrast nicely against the pale green and burgundy leaves.
|When to Sow
|Sow indoors from late February, outdoors from late March to June.
|Where to Sow
|Direct sow outside either thinly in rows or sparsely in pots.
|Lightly cover seed with 1/2cm (1/4in) moist compost and keep moist, but do not overwater.
|Can be started off on your windowsill or propagator.
|If sowing early in the season outside, protect from any late frost.
|What to do Next
|Make kitchen access easy by transplanting on into a large pot and keeping by your kitchen door.
|If started in a pot or container transplant the complete pot rootball to avoid any root disturbance.
|Basil requires little care once established, keep watered in dry spells and pick leaves from the plant as required.
|Basil plants do not like the cold therefore a warm sunny spot on a patio or windowsill is ideal.
|May to October, when leaves are young.
|Although basil grows best outdoors, it can be grown indoors in a pot and, like most herbs, will do best on a sunny windowsill. It should be kept away from cold drafts, and grows best in strong sunlight, therefore a greenhouse is ideal if available.
|Basil repels the white fly and makes a good companion to tomatoes, both in the garden and in the kitchen
|Basil is rich in vitamins A, K and C and also magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium.
|Thai basil can be used fresh, in salads or the fresh or dried forms can be used to flavour soups, pasta, and vegetable dishes. In Thai cuisine, great handfuls of fresh Thai basil leaves are added to spicy stir-fries and curries.
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