Basil or sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an aromatic annual herb in the mint family. It is a tall, leafy plant that’s full of flavour and can be used in many tasty ways.
It is rich in Vitamins A, B6, C and K along with minerals such as manganese, iron and magnesium. It also has potential to be used in insecticides including as a mosquito repellant and has antibacterial properties.
Relatively easy to grow given warm, sunny conditions, there are many varieties to tempt. Consider sweet basil, lemon basil or purple basil, as well as species including Thai basil, which is a perennial species. Why not plant all of them in the herb or vegie garden or in pots.
Basil is eaten raw and is a traditional flavour companion to tomatoes in salads, on sandwiches and for topping a Margherita pizza. It is also delicious blended with nuts, garlic, oil and Parmesan cheese as pesto.
Follow our seven easy steps to successful basil harvest including tips along the way.