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Plant basil - care and harvesting

  • Sowing or planting "> Maintain and harvest basil
  • Basil in the house
  • Basil Classic
  • Perennial basil

Basil, the "spice of kings, " is one of the most delicious spices for most people. Reason enough to free you from the pesticide-like supermarket potty, because basil is quite easy to grow, to cultivate and to harvest, even in the house. And that opens up unimagined possibilities.

Sowing basil and planting basil is as straightforward as basil care and harvesting. The quite simple culture is presented in detail below - but you can also get to know some of the approximately 75 types of basil that you can buy today and with which you can experience a lot of new things:

Sowing or planting?

A question that can not be answered on a flat-rate basis depends on your culinary ambitions and your "baseball ambition" (what this means, you will find out below):

1. First of all, to the normal basil, the one with the big green leaves and moderately bushy, branched growth, as you usually take it in the potty in the supermarket.

This basil is always one year old. The potty breeding varieties are not characterized by excessive survival, even if you lovingly tease yourself. Such cultivars of basil are grown from seed, they are bred to grow fast and willingly in one season, and quickly produce many large leaves. How to proceed:

  • If you prefer to grow one-year-old basil by sowing in pots, then you can harvest longer
  • If you put the small seedlings in the bed with pot later, the young plants are perfectly protected from snails
  • Fill good potting soil with some sand mixed in the pots
  • Basil must be scattered as a light germinator only and not covered with soil
  • As they germinate, the seeds must be kept moist throughout
  • Best cover the pot with foil, the heat-loving basil feels comfortable in the "mini greenhouse" (even in real)
  • During the growing season, the basil wants to stand in a bright, not sunny place and enjoy a temperature of about 25 degrees
  • Moisten the soil regularly with a spray bottle, it is always equally well ventilated
  • The seeds usually germinate quite fast, after about a week you should see the first green
  • After about a month, the cuttings should have grown enough roots so that they can be planted out

The natural range of the genus basil is in tropical Africa and Asia, so that every basil is so heat-loving that you should put the cultivation in the garden at the earliest in mid-May (after the Eisheiligen). If you want to plant basil directly into the garden bed (of course possible, but in the snail-filled garden you will have to sacrifice a few leaves and the harvest time will be a little shorter anyway), now is the earliest possible time.

Basil wants to be placed in a warm, sunny and sheltered location, in loose, humus-rich and unusually nutrient-rich soil for herbs. Because the prospect of abundant green leaves is so tempting, basil plants are often planted in clumps next to each other. Do not let yourself be seduced, basilicas will develop individually and become much better and healthier:

If you can choose in terms of suitable locations, you could start with a basil barrier trying to keep your seat in the garden wasp-free. It is certain that wasps can be displaced by unpleasant odors, it is less certain which wasp does not like which smell. Lavender, cloves, citrus scents and many other essential oils are under suspicion, basil is also included (see below for bush basilica). You could try a hefty basil as a wasp sting, perhaps supported in the first year by a safe wasp treat at equally safe distance:

2. In spring, you can buy early-grown plants from regular basil in many markets. If it's a real eco-market with well-stocked herbalists, you may also find one of the rare basilicas (though they are not churches, the second "official" plural) presented below, for example: B. a red basil:

Of course you can also try to put the pot basil from the supermarket into the garden when the time suits. However, you should be prepared that this could end in a disappointment - does not matter, otherwise the basil would have landed in the trash anyway, you should just know that it is not due to your care. The basil from the supermarket is growing fast, the opposite of breeding to a long life, so to speak. This plant rarely remembers that it forms roots in soil and grows properly, usually the experiment ends rather like this:

3. If you are a culinary picker and already a member of the basil experts, you are no longer basking yourself with potty basil, but are always on the trail of new basil varieties and species. If you have a particularly rare and / or tasty specimen, you should take from this plant in the previous year cuttings that are ready for planting in the next season:

  • This is especially worthwhile with the perennial basilicas
  • Cut the cuttings in summer at the height of the growing season
  • Take a finger-length shoot with a tip from the mother plant
  • It was supposed to be a young vigorous shoot, but with no traces of woodiness
  • From this shoot you remove the leaves below and put the cuttings in pots where they can overwinter

Maintain and harvest basil

If you put the basil in the right place, you just need to watch and wait. Almost just watching and waiting:

  • If it seems slack (and only then does the aroma help), the basil must be poured
  • Lasting moisture would like to experience basil in no case
  • The most important thing is to water as evenly as possible, preferably from below so that the leaves do not burn.
  • All basil species grow enormously fast and consume many nutrients
  • Outside, basil therefore needs a location in nutrient-rich soil right from the start
  • Whenever the basil loses a touch of its rich color, it can get some organic fertilizer, so it gets the best flavor
  • But just do not over-fertilize, including the aroma suffers again
  • Fertilizing with horn meal should delay the development of inflorescences

The harvest can begin when the first vigorous leaves have developed. Practically, it belongs to the ongoing care of a basil, because if you want to harvest long, you must anyway remove the flowers continuously or cut off suggestive inflorescences (the shoot tips, here develop the flowers). For if the basil has been able to develop flowers, it has secured the progeny and drives back the leaf production.

Tip: For some basil varieties, it is absolutely worthwhile to create a few flowers, because they are unusually beautiful and smell very good.

When there are so many flowers, ...

You can sprinkle some in the next cocktails or on the next salad, not a culinary prize, but pretty. The rest of the flowers can then be ripened and allowed to dry on the plant and seeds harvested for the next season. However, only from fertile varieties, a hybrid such as 'African Blue' can z. B. do not produce fertile seeds. The seeds can after a bit of drying out, simply knock out of the stalk. The remaining leaves of a one-year-old basil can be harvested at the end of the year in one go - and it would be best to use it as a pesto. There is dried basil, but that is usually only a shadow of itself.

If a perennial basil has eventually developed into an impressive bush, it can tolerate a pruning cut by the fall (or, if necessary, cut back more in the spring) until it looks so nice again:

Basil in the house

All basilicas can also be moved indoors if you can offer them a location that is bright enough, which often becomes a problem in the interior. Windows swallow amounts of the spectrum of light used by plants, however, it suffers first from flower formation, not from leaf growth. There is enough heat in the living room, nutrients are available regularly (and moderately) from the liquid fertilizer bottle. Even irrigation is not a problem near the tap, waterlogging can (and must) be prevented by a drain in the bottom of the pot.

If you pull basil in the house, you even have the chance to experiment with basilicas that can not hibernate in the garden during the frost (hardy is NOT a basil), but can be wintered indoors:

  • As bright as possible and set up at temperatures between 15 and 20 ° C
  • Choose the location with the highest humidity, occasionally spray fine water over the plants
  • The more woody a perennial basil already is, the drier it should be in winter
  • Persevering basilicas should occasionally be pruned all around to grow more compactly
  • If a perennial basil is weakening, you can rejuvenate it from cuttings
  • Hibernation does not always have to work, but the culture of the growth-willing plants is worthwhile even for only one year

Basil Classic

Above was already the "Basil ambition" the speech, and it was suggested that basil culinary has more to offer than the usual green leaves on mozzarella and tomato. Now it is time to present you, at least in part, with a few basilicas that are really worthy of basil ambition:

1. The green, one-year cultivated classics

The well-known green basil is pulled for decades in some always same varieties, which you should know if you are looking for the typical basil taste:

• Ocimum basilicum, fine green, also known as French basil, fine-leaved, very fine flavor, also suitable for desserts
• Ocimum basilicum, Fino Verde, is considered the best basil for pesto, small, thick, concentrated aromatic leaves that are very rich in flavor
• Ocimum basilicum Genoveser, the best known variety ever, large dark green domed leaves, typical aroma, fast-growing, insensitive
• Ocimum basilicum, Italian large-leaved basil, a healthy strain that is often used in Italian restaurants. Taste like Genovese, but with extra long, slightly wavy, large leaves that single-handedly spice up a sandwich
'Ocimum basilicum, Queen of Sheba' is considered the "queen of spice", dark green leaves, purple flowers, compact, almost bushy growth

2. New and special varieties of classic one-year-old basil

But even with the classic green basil growers continue to tinker, more and more new varieties come on the market. Since it is a herb with a decent sales market, especially in catering professionals, is sustainable and carefully bred - what does not taste and does not grow, can not last long in such an environment. You will not find these varieties at the nearest mass-market florist, but if you know them, you can search specifically:

  • Ocimum basilicum "Crispum", Salad leafy basil, high-yielding Italian specialty with very tender leaves, needs wind protection
  • Ocimum basilicum Compatto FT is a particularly robust, compact strain that is Fusarium tolerant
  • Ocimum basilicum, Green Ruffles or Green Krauses is very aromatic and very rich with its large, finely curled leaves
  • Ocimum x basilicum "Nufar F1" is the first fusarium-resistant Genovese basil tested by the University of Massachusetts, USA

3. Exotic varieties of the classic annual Ocimum basilicum

Even the well-known green basil does not always have to taste "typical of basil":

  • Ocimum basilicum 'Ararat' has purple leaves and a strong, surprising aroma with licorice notes, which refreshes salads, tomato dishes and pestos unusually
  • Ocimum basilicum 'Corsican' is a very mild tasting basil with red-green marbled leaves, the aroma of which fits both savory and sweet dishes
  • Ocimum basilicum 'Neopolitan' has a pronounced peppery aroma in its crinkly lime green giant leaves, very heat-needy
  • Ocimum basilicum 'Sweet Dani', USA award-winning strain with a strong lemon flavor and high of essential oils (especially citral)
  • Ocimum basilicum, Subja 'is a pretty robust species whose seeds in India together with rose syrup give the well-known milk drink "Falooda" the special character. The aromatic leaves can also be used

4. Colorful annual Ocimum basilicum

As the last varieties mentioned above indicate, the well-known green basil also does not always have to be green:

  • Ocimum basilicum 'Dark Opal', the grandmother of all red-leaved varieties with deep purple leaves and pink flowers, slightly more sensitive than the 'Genoveser', slightly tart in the taste, also great for hot and cold teas
  • Ocimum basilicum 'Osmin' develops red leaves with a smell of cloves and is one of the darkest red-leaved varieties
  • Ocimum basilicum 'Purple Delight' is a new improved purple variety with medium sized leaves, strong stature and strong aroma
  • Ocimum basilicum, Purple Ruffles or 'Red Frizzy', beautiful large dark red curly leaves, deep pink flowers, best aroma of seed-propagated red-leaved leaves

Perennial basil

No idea why it is so little known and so little spread (a rogue who thinks of selling it), but actually or, of course, basil is a perennial plant, a true annual plant rarely spends in nature.

Basil is grown here only one year, because the tropical herb German winter can not survive and wants. With the basil breeding, plantlets can come out once, which should only be harvested and then no longer have to live on. If you hibernate them, they might be overwhelmed, but they will not last very long. The more original a basil, the more "he can still remember" that he actually wanted to continue growing and growing old and old for many years ... with luck, he will do that in your kitchen.

The perennial basilicas exist even in several exciting species and variety groups:

1. Original / reared varieties

  • Ocimum basilicum x 'Amethyst Improved', dark purple, arched thick leaves, typical Genoveser aroma, grows bushy when the tops are harvested
  • Ocimum basilicum Cuban shrub basil, a perennial substitute for Genovese basil, with a stronger taste and more resistance
  • Ocimum basilicum Provence basil from southern France, which is mainly sold there bushy, smaller leaves than Genovese, larger leaves than bush basil, typical aroma: take when you roast!
  • Ocimum basilicum, Rosie ', dark red, compact, more upright than most other red-leaved varieties, genoese flavor
  • Ocimum basilicum, Toscano ', large-leaved basil from Tuscany with a trace of mint aroma and wavy, large leaves
  • Ocimum basilicum 'Zanzibar', top flavored with anise, cumin, coriander, strongly toothed wavy leaves, traditional basil in Tanzania, which can even be dried

2. Bush basil

Buschbasilikum is an ancient breed from the Mediterranean and known in Greece and India as an ornamental mosquito repellent. The usually with us also rather one year old pulled, because she does not survive the winter. In the house you can try to cultivate each bush basil longer, z. B .:

  • Ocimum basilicum v. minimum, Green Globe ', in Italy, Finissimo Verde a Palla', very fine-leaved, strongly branched and globose growing, good aroma
  • Ocimum basilicum v. minimum 'Spicy Globe', rather large leaves for a bush basil, nice compact growth

The perennial varieties of the bush basil are really perennial and enduring:

  • Ocimum basilicum v. minimum, Corfu ', flowers at most at the end of summer, long harvest, slightly reddish stems and leaves, very robust
  • Ocimum basilicum v. minimum, Greek bush basil, grows as a small shrub, has small leaves with a pronounced aroma
  • Minimum, Turkish bush basilica, tiny leaves, unusually sweet, almost scented perfume

3. Very different, perennial basil

  • Ocimum americanum (canum), wild basil or tulsi, probably the most robust basil, healthy, lots of pink flowers, pimento flavor for hot food and pesto
  • Ocimum americanum (canum) x, African lemon basil, kleinblättrig and hairy with fruity lemon flavor and delicate leaves
  • Ocimum americanum (canum) x basilicum 'Wild Purple', needs little warmth, grows (long tested by Kräuter Rühlemann) also in northern Germany outdoors, more vigorous than other red-leaved varieties, good, peppery aroma, deep pink flowers, very robust variety
  • Ocimum gratissimum, African tree basil from Kilimanjaro, grows very large and is very hardy, good, carnation-like aroma
  • Ocimum kilimanandscharicum x basilicum 'Purpurascens' or 'African Blue', red basil cross x camphor basil, tart taste, healthy and vigorous
  • Ocimum basilicum 'Reunion', variety from the tropical island of Reunion with creamy-white flowers and a light aniseed aroma
  • Ocimum tenuiflorum, Thai basil, Kaprao ', green, large-leaved, robust, mild aroma
  • Ocimum tenuiflorum, Thai basil, Kaprao 'red or in India Red Tulsi, leaves with metallic reddish, needs a lot of heat, grows slowly, strong clove flavor
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