Basil is one of the most popular of all the summer herbs and if you like cooking with tomatoes you'll already know that nothing compliments them better than fresh basil. But did you know that basil is also really easy to grow? Here's how.

When selecting a site in the garden, choose a sunny, well-drained position for your basil plants. They like the soil to be rich enough to hold all the nutrients they need for their soft, lush growth, so dig in plenty of organic plant food like 5 in 1 to give them a really good start.

Next, choose your basil! There are so many different types this may not be as easy as it sounds. The purple-leaved varieties not only taste good, but they look great in salads. If space is limited, try bush or Greek basil, a compact plant with tiny leaves. If you just want a burst of pure basil flavour, you can't go wrong with the ordinary sweet basil.

Basil is a fast growing herb and when it's young it tends to dry out quickly in hot weather so you'll need to water regularly. To maintain healthy growth, fertilise every two weeks with SeaMax® Fish & Kelp.

Basil leaves can be picked as you need them from an early age. Regular pruning throughout the summer will keep the plants compact and stimulate the leaves to develop better flavour. To increase the life of your plants, prevent them from flowering by pinching out the buds before they mature.
So, here's your checklist for great basil:

• Plant in a sunny, well-drained position
• Keep plants well watered in hot weather
• Fertilise fortnightly with SeaMax® Fish & Kelp
• Harvest regularly
• Remove flowering buds as they develop.
Now, you'll be ready to treat your family to the tastiest tomato dishes using fresh basil.


Happy Gardening with Searles from the Searle family.

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