Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Herb of the Week - Basil

I both love and despise Basil all at the same time.  I love it because it is wonderfully fragrant and delicious in almost any dishes.  I despise it because I have yet to find a way to grow Basil without killing it.  The first year, I planted too early for my region and it died.  The second year I waited an additional month and I think I overwatered (I thought wilting meant needed more water - oops).  This year,I planted Genovese and Purple Bail and I have been babying them to no end.  I waited until July to put them outdoors, I am very careful about how much I am watering them, I move them indoors in heavy rain or wind or if I feel that it is just too hot in the afternoon (I have noticed them wilting if they get too hot).  In short, I am dead and determined to have healthy Basil plants this year!

Basil is a wonderful herb that can be found in most herb gardens or growing on kitchen windowsills.  Basil likes full sun but should be fairly sheltered from high winds.  Be sure to wait until well after the last frost before sowing your basil as cold temperatures are its worst enemy.  Basil does not like to soak in water and should receive proper drainage. 
Basil comes in a number of varieties.  My favorite are genovese basil and purple basil.  Others include cinnamon basil, lemon basil and Thai basil.  Basil is delicious in soups, salads, dips and sauces.  I add basil to nearly all of my Italian dishes.  It also makes a beautiful garnish.
Magickally, Basil is associated with protection, courage, wealth, love, divination and creativity.  For a financial boost, plant Basil near the front door.  Cook with fresh basil to enhance feelings of passion and love.  Carry in your pocket or place in your wallet or purse to bring continued wealth.  If you are a business owner - Place Basil leaves in a cash register or above the doorsill to attract customers.  Bathe with basil to increase attractiveness. 


Wendy the (Very) Good Witch said...

Ooh....I love Basil! I adore the fragrance and I love it in food. It grows quite well here in Florida. I'm especially fond of Lemon Basil...the smell is delightful! Love all your herb pics! :o)

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