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Basil is a culinary herb in the mint family native to tropical regions from central Africa to Southeast Asia.

 

Growing

In the garden, we are able to grow basil only in the summer, when it’s warm. Tomatoes make great companion plants to basil. Keep the ground moist by mulching and watering regularly.

You can easily grow basil indoors all year round too! Just find a spot in your apartment that will get sunlight that gets 6 to 8 hours of full sun daily. Water every few days in summer and slightly less frequently in winter.

Harvesting and pruning

Cut the middle stem directly above a set of leaves, leaving at least a 1/2 inch of stem if possible. Small leaves will now grow out in place of the one cut stem between them, making the plant bushier.

Harvest in the morning, when the leaves are their juiciest!

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Storing

If you plan on using the basil within a few days, treat it like cut flowers and put it in water.

If you want basil to last longer, you have two options: blanche the leaves and freeze; or dry the leaves by spreading on a sheet pan and placing in your oven at its