Basil: The World’s Most Versatile Herb

Whoever said that print is dead clearly hasn’t picked up Wilder Quarterly, the Brooklyn-based journal filled with pages that star “half-green thumbs, rooftop gardeners, foodies and chefs, laymen hikers, landscape architects, hobby farmers, horticulturalists, nature’s innovators, amateurs, and experts.” It’s definitely on our shortlist for top magazines on the newsstand.

The WQ blog delivers regular digital content in the same vein, including tips on growing edible plants like basil, the world’s most versatile herb. Basil gets extra marks for being easy to grow and for filling the kitchen with a wonderfully bright and spicy aroma. All you really need is a bright windowsill (preferably south-facing) or any spot that gets about 4–6 hours of full sunlight a day. From the post:

Although there aren’t as many varieties of basil as there are provinces in Italy, you have a few to chose from. I would suggest Genovese (for the flavor) or Mammoth (for the size). Sow the seeds thinly, about 1 – 2 inches apart and cover with a quarter inch of soil. Use either a pot (at least 18 inches in diameter) or a window box (with seeds scattered lengthwise). Basil is happiest in warm, course-textured soil that drains well (good drainage is vital when growing basil), however keep soil moist with frequent misting. Clip leaves often, right at the node taking about 1/3 of the stem. This will promote growth and further enhance the flavor.

For additional info, talk to the folks at your local nursery about the best suggestions for you in terms of climate, fertilization, and variety.

[via SHFT, Wilder Quarterly]