Basil - Sacred OG
In cuisine, the leaves and the seeds of Sacred Basil can both be used. Fresh leaves are often used to add zest and flavor to a range of dishes, including curries, and the seeds are used in spice mixtures across Southeast Asia. The seeds also contribute slightly to the thickening of watery and thin sauces, and are often used to bulk up sauces in Thailand. Leaves and seeds can be eaten raw and fresh, dried, or cooked, and some people enjoy chewing the stalks as a breath freshener.
Basil has a lower germination rate than many seeds, averaging just 60%. Fortunately, our seed packets contain many more seeds than you'll need. Basil is a hot weather plant and is very susceptible to frost damage. Seeds and plants should not be put into the ground until the soil is warm (65 to 70 degrees) and the weather has settled. Even a cool, 50 degree night will slow down the plant's growth for some time afterward.
To get a jump on the basil season, you can start your basil seeds indoors, 3 to 4 weeks before planting time. Put 4 to 6 seeds in a pot. Once the seedlings have their first set of true leaves, thin to 1 or 2 plants per pot. Basil transplants well, but the plants will appreciate being protected from wind and sun for the first several days. Basil prefers growing in a lightly moist, slightly acidic, well-drained soil that contains lots of organic matter (like compost!). Like most herbs, basil is not a heavy feeder, so there is no need to add any fertilizer to the soil around your plants. Basil is a good companion for tomatoes as it will tolerate being shaded as the tomato plant matures.
To get the highest yield of tender and flavorful basil leaves, pinch back the tip of each branch, starting in early summer when the plants are just 6 inches tall. Continue pinching back the branches (as you harvest the leaves), pinching off any flowers that start to form. If the plant is not allowed to flower and set seed, it should continue producing high quality leaves right up to frost.
Most of the general information provided is from the Vegetable Encyclopedia at www.gardeners.com, with additional facts provided by your friends at Seattle Seed Company.-