Basil is an aromatic plant particularly appreciated in Mediterranean cuisine. It is difficult not to mention the Provençal pistou as a speciality when mentioning basil, although it is also used in salads or pasta. It is part of the Lamiaceae family and is grown as an herb. There are seven varieties to date, but the best known in French gardens are Basil Grand Vert, or Genovese, Lemon Basil and Fine Green Basil.
Also known asOncimum basilicum, this plant likes the sun; it is thus necessary to sow it in warm boxes at the beginning of spring, and to wait one month and half approximately before planting it either in pot, or in ground. It is grown in the sun, ideally sheltered from the wind in a vegetable garden between two tomato plants, and in rich soil that keeps it fresh. It is sensitive to hot weather and therefore appreciates regular watering.
If the basil is planned as an ornamental, it will only require a hoeing at the beginning of the culture. But if it is to be consumed as a condiment, it is important to pinch the end of the stems in order to prevent the inflorescences, and to cut the buttons to leave the place to the leaves. The most important thing is not to water the leaves when it is cold and to keep the soil cool. In all, from sowing to harvesting, the calendar takes about 90 days depending on the season in which it is grown.