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Basil year-round

I absolutely love basil and wondered if it was possible to grow it right throughout the year.

 

In warm, frost-free climates annual basil will grow year round. In colder climates, however, where frosts are a threat, the planting of basil is best left until after all risk of frost has passed. If you've planted basil in the garden and find yourself caught out with bad weather, you can protect your plants by placing a cut-off soft drink container (cut open at both ends) over the plant.

To ensure a long-lived, bushy plant, pinch back shoots just above the point where two side branches leave the stem. Remove any flowers that develop, as these sap the plant of energy. (Flowers should be encouraged for propagating purposes only.)

If you live in an area where you cannot grow basil year round, try freezing the leaves. Half fill ice cubes with chopped leaves, cover with water or olive oil, then place in the freezer. Ice cubes can then be added to stews, casseroles, soups or sauces when desired.

Alternatively, you could try growing basil inside on a sunny windowsill. Make sure you give it plenty of water.

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH
 
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