Approx. 900-1000 seeds per gram
The most aromatic and evocative of herbs, basil, for me, is the smell of summer and Mediterranean warmth. Greek basil is one of the hardiest of the basils although it is not frost hardy. With its smaller leaf and bush shape it is perfect for pots. If you do not have a greenhouse basil will grow happily on a sunny windowsill and even outside in a sunny, sheltered spot.
How to grow:
Basil is an annual herb. Sow seed from March to July in pots or seed trays at 22 -24 degrees C. Prick out tray sown seedlings into individual 8 cm pots when they are about 6 cm tall. For windowsill herbs pot on once more into a 12 cm pot otherwise transplant into the growing site. Direct sowings can also be made in June.
Succession sow throughout the season to ensure a supply of fresh leaves. Harvest individual leaves and then stems June onwards. The flowers are small and white but pinch out the flowering stems to encourage leaf production.
Pests and diseases:
Basil can suffer from aphids, use a biological control if this is a problem.
How to use:
Greek basil is another fantastic culinary type for Mediterranean dishes. It is the perfect partner of tomatoes and any salad or sauce with tomatoes will be great with it’s addition. Greek basil is also perfect for making pesto. To make simply put the ingredients into a food processor and whiz into an amazing basil sauce to serve stirred through warm pasta or as a topping to a simple risotto. You will need 50g pine nut, 80g basil, 50g parmesan cheese or vegetarian alternative, 150ml olive oil, 2 garlic cloves and salt to taste. Basil does not dry particularly well but you can chop it, add a little water and freeze in ice-cube trays.