The basil plant, commonly known as Genovese, is one of the best and most inexpensive herb gardening plants to have in your garden. It is extremely easy to grow; and if you plant it correctly, you will enjoy a continuous harvest over many years. Plant the basil plant in a sunny but well-drained location. This will ensure that the plant receives plenty of sunshine but avoid direct exposure to strong sun rays as this can cause damage to the leaves.
The first year the plant will produce blooms. You should remove all of the flowers when the blooms have bloomed and remove all the flower buds from the stems. The leaves can be discarded as well. After the first year, repot the genovese basil plant and add new soil. Rest the plant in a shaded area for about a month to allow the roots to fully absorb the water and nourish themselves.
The best way to enjoy the flavors in your Genovese herbs is to harvest them at their peak flavor and allow them to mature and dry completely. When the plant starts to wilt, it will lose all of its flavor. It is important to keep the plant cool and moist, so it does not dry out completely. A simple solution to keeping the leaves cool is to place them in an airtight container that has a low air circulation rate.
During the summer months, remove the entire plants leaves and stems from the pot. Hang them upside down in a window, allowing the sunlight to do its job of heating up the herbs. After about a week, repot the plant and replace the top with new soil. Fill in the remaining holes with bone meal or sand. The next step is to re-pot the genovese basil plant about two weeks after it was transplanted.
To encourage flowering, you can add some natural fertilizers. Buy a good commercial fertilizer, but make sure you follow the directions carefully so that your herbs don’t end up in a compost pile. Another option is to buy a small container of loosely packed pine bark, moisten it slightly, and add some fertilizer and water. Allow the herbs to grow into a nice head of growing herbs, removing any larger weeds when the herb starts to bloom. This allows you to fertilize the plant at just the right time, increasing the likelihood of large flower buds forming.
If the weather is really hot and sticky, you can grow the herb in a variety of locations. For example, if you live in a colder climate, try growing the plant in a pot on the backsplash of your kitchen sink. It will need to be kept well-drained, and you may want to water the plants every other day or so, just as you would a tropical garden. In the summertime, keep them in a window box to get cool air exposure, but provide partial shade for the herb as well, to prevent too much heat damage. In the winter, you can even keep them in an outside container.
When the plant starts to flower, it will flower a mass of small blooms that are typically purple in color. As the plant matures, it will stop blooming until the new growth has started to grow, and then it will continue to bloom all summer long. As the plant matures, you can remove the old growth and repot it. It should be repotted every growing season, but it is possible to get by with only one reporting. Just remove the flower buds from the plant and divide the plant into three separate pots, each with one flower bud.
If you have a vine type garden with climbing stems on your patio or deck, you can easily get the basil to start growing up the stems. The new growth looks like small bonsai trees, so you can prune the tops and let the stems climb. Over time, they will produce beautiful new shoots that will reach up to six feet high and produce blooms of pure white or ivory. Just remember that the weight of the new growth makes it more susceptible to damage from wind and cold, so give it plenty of room to grow.