Basil with its sweet and peppery taste is a must have herb in the kitchen great for either sweet or savory dishes it will defiantly add a bold flavor to your cooking.

Growing basil is not difficult but there are some basics which will insure a season long harvest. Check out these articles that will give you all the information you need to add this herb to your garden!

Growing basil is not only easy, it can become an obsession.

Once you taste fresh basil, you will want more. Once you start looking, you will find that there are numerous types available, said University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Greg Stack.

Basil comes from the Greek word basileus, meaning king, and is considered by many gardeners and cooks to be a fitting title for this favorite herb. It comes in different colors and leaf textures and, of course, different flavors.

Dont be in a hurry to plant basil. This is a tender annual that likes both warm air and warm soil to grow well, said Stack. Seeds can be started indoors about 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost in the spring.

Seeds should be sown onto a good seed-starting medium, lightly covered, and kept moist. Germination normally takes 5 to 10 days; optimum temperature is around 70 to 75 degrees. After germination, move the plants to bright light. See this Burpee Seed article for more.

Select a warm, well-lit site. If you’re an experienced vegetable gardener, but new to herbs, plant your basil along with your other vegetables. Basil and tomatoes planted together are said to provide each other with insect protection and vigor, according to folk wisdom.

Loosen the soil by spading at least eight inches deep. Unless you have already grown vegetables or flowers there successfully, a soil test is a good idea; local soil conditions are so variable and their treatment so specific that blanket statements can be misleading. Your county’s Cooperative Extension agent can arrange for a soil test and advise you on the additives that will work in your soil.

You can start basil from seed in the house at any time, but wait until air temperatures and the ground are warm before sowing outside. Sow the seed 1/4-inch-deep in prepared potting mix (inside) or soil (outside).

Firm the planting medium over the seeds and water gently. Seedlings will be up in three to five days if the temperature is warm. Indoors, keep the seedlings in good light (fluorescent tubes are fine, especially if sunlight is limited); transplant to larger pots when roots fill their original container.