Basil is a member of the mint family and comes in a number of varieties that range in flavor and color. With flavors ranging from sweet to spicy to zesty, this herb is popular for making pesto and seasoning vegetables and fish. It’s native to India and Asia and thought to aid in digestion.

by Dani Yokhna
PHOTO: Rachael Brugger

Size: 12 to 30 inches (depending on variety)

Sunlight requirements: Full sun (A minimum of six hours is ideal.)

Water requirements: About 1 inch per week—herbs in containers need more moisture.

Soil requirements: Well-drained soil that isn’t heavily fertilized

When to plant: Direct-seed, or start seeds indoors and transplant after danger of frost has passed.

Where to plant: Garden; containers

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When to harvest: 30 to 100 days after planting (depending on variety)

Produce storage: Store in temperatures above 50 degrees F. Store in a cool, dark space, or freeze in airtight containers for six to eight months.

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