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Midday Fix: Basil growing tips from Tony Fulmer of Chalet Nursery

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Chalet Landscape, Nursery & Garden Center
3132 Lake Avenue
Wilmette
www.ChaletNursery.com

Event:
Back Yard Food Fest: A Celebration of Edibles
May 31
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
June 1
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Tips:

Basil plants need consistent warmth, so wait until nighttime temperatures are regularly over 50 degrees to plant.

Leave at least a one square foot per basil plant

Water basil plants at the base and try to avoid watering over the foliage.

Harvest leaves as needed, but to ensure a bountiful plant, prune off stems above a pair of leaves.

To dry basil leaves, wash leaves and pat dry, place between paper towels and microwave for 60 seconds.

Combined chopped basil with a bit of water in ice cube trays and freeze. Drop basil cubes into soups or sauces for an extra dose of flavor.

Types of Basil:

Red Rubin
14-16” tall. Milder flavor than standard sweet basil. Has beautiful pink flowers in addition to the wonderful maroon-purple leaves. Some feel it is more disease resistant than the other red-leafed varieties.

Queen of Siam
Strong fragrance and large leaf size. Flowers later, therefore a longer harvest season.

Pesto Perpetuo
This is actually a variegated form of a different species of basil. It is a columnar basil reaching 24” tall and interestingly doesn’t flower. Like Red Rubin, this has potential as a beautiful addition to either edible containers or mixed containers with flowers.;

Sweet Dani
Large leaves with a very lemony flavor, growing 24” tall. This one has 75% more essential oils than standard basil.

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