Although it is not well documented, Lemon basil is an open-pollinated variety that was most likely developed in the last century through selective breeding of different types of basil to obtain a lemon-like flavour and aroma. In the garden, lemon basil grows to about 18-24 inches tall with 2 to 3-inch leaves and the plants bear small white or purple flowers in the summer. The lemon-scented leaves are often used in Southeast Asian and Mediterranean cuisines, and they pair well with fish, chicken, tomatoes and also make a superb pesto.
- Latin Name: Ocimum africanum
- Life Cycle: Annual
- Days to Maturity: 60
- Planting Depth: 1 cm
- Plant Spacing: 30-45 cm
- Growth Habit: 40-60 cm tall
Basil may be the most sought-after herb of the summer season. Its iconic, pungent aroma is the perfect companion to fresh tomatoes and the broad green leaves are the essential ingredient needed to whip up a delectable batch of pesto.
Seeds can be started indoors six weeks before the last frost. Pamper your seeds with moist conditions and a heat mat if possible. Basil will not thrive without consistent warmth. Plant seeds in a flat 1 cm deep. When true leaves appear, separate seedlings into individual pots.
Transplant after the danger of frost has passed and wait until the soil reaches around 20 degrees. Prepare a fertile bed under full or partial sun and mulch around the base of the plants to retain moisture. Be sure to water abundantly during drought conditions.
When plants have 6 leaves, prune back to the second set of leaves. The plant will become bushier and produce more of its aromatic foliage. As flowers appear, cut them off in order to focus energy into more leaf production. Basil will grow and produce well with little to no fertilizer throughout the season.
Leaves will be most tender and flavourful when harvested in the morning. Pick often to encourage growth and maximize yield. Freezing the leaves is the best way to preserve the fresh basil flavour. Drying is also an effective way to store basil, though this method sacrifices some of the potent flavour. Another way to keep basil and enjoy its wonderful aroma is to cut the leaves or flowers at the stem and place them into water as you would with flowers.
- Basil is native to the tropical regions of central Africa and Southeast Asia and was brought to Europe by traders during the medieval ages, where it became especially popular in Mediterranean cuisine.
- Regularly pinching and pruning basil plants encourages healthier and bushier growth and prevents the plants from getting too tall or leggy.
- Basil seeds will remain viable for 5 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!