The grass has received the name from the Greek word which means "tsar". It has a bitter taste and peppermint aroma. This is a popular seasoning in the Mediterranean cuisine. Basil is based on the famous Italian pesto sauce. In France, its combination with tomatoes is a culinary canon. Further in this article we will talk about the proper cultivation of this wonderful grass in the country or garden. We learn how and when to plant seeds in open ground. How to dive, transplant or seedling the first shoots.
Ancient history of purple and red basil
People have been using basil for over 5000 years. Both in cooking and in medicine. Basil tea calms nerves and tones the body. They drink it to relieve colic in the stomach. It improves the functioning of the liver and gallbladder.
Homeland grass - Africa. In Russia, it appeared in the XVIII century. Then, based on it, they made popular tonics and cosmetic masks, which are still popular.Basil in a pot close up
Description of the bush
Basil - an annual plant, with oblong, short branch. The stalk on average reaches a length of 60 cm. The root is branching, located close to the surface. The leaves, like the stem, are covered with hairs. The flowers are white, pale pink. The fruits are dark, similar to nuts, ripen in groups of 4 and remain viable for 5 years.
How many varieties can be planted in the country?
There are many kinds of grass, more than a hundred. Sweet basil - the most popular of them. In Africa, basil grows with blue leaves, called camphor. In Mexico, it is cinnamon, and in southeast Asia, it is lemon. There is a view with purple leaves. Its aroma is mild compared to green, but for its rich color it is often used in decorating dishes.
Preparing seedlings at home in the spring
Seeds are planted in seedlings at the end of March. They are briefly soaked before planting. Enough for two hours in warm water or a weak solution of potassium permanganate. For seedlings suitable capacity of 10 cm or more in depth, pots or boxes for flowers. On the bottom lay drainage, from above it is sprinkled with soil mixture (proportion 4: 2: 1) from:
In the ground, make grooves with a depth of 1 cm, which put the seeds. Sprinkled with earth and irrigated from the sprayer, and then covered with film or glass.
Capacities with seeds clean in a warm place. At this stage, it is important to properly care for the seedlings:
- take a film or glass once a day and air it briefly (15 minutes will be enough)
- remove condensate from the inside
- easy to wet the ground
At the end of May, sprouts sprouted at home are planted in open ground. It is important that the plants have 5 formed leaves. Until they appear, you can wait a little with the landing.
Before planting, seedlings are taken out of the room and left in the open air to harden. Begin with 15 minutes and gradually increase the time spent on the street to several hours. Hardening begin one week before transplantation.
How to plant seeds or seedlings in open ground
Basil dies from low temperatures. Therefore, seedlings are planted in a permanent place when there is no morning frost. It is best to plant vegetable seeds in the spring in the middle of May. Scheme for crops, you can choose any.
Soil for grass needs fertile, air and moisture permeable. Soil before planting fertilize. At 1 m2 make 2 kg of humus, peat and compost.
Sprouts are planted at a distance of 40 cm from each other, in the pits 10 cm deep. Before planting pits plentifully watered.
You can not plant basil in the same place for two years in a row. This will lead to brown spots on the leaves and loss of planting. The reason for this - the disease Fusarium. It is caused by fungi that live in the soil for a long time. Between the planting of spicy grass, the soil "rests" 5 years.
Growing and caring for green shoots of basil in the gardenBasil grown in a barrel
Basil needs watering with warm, settled water. Experienced gardeners give birth to a large plastic barrel. During the day, the water in the barrel will heat up and stand. By evening, it is suitable for watering.
Grass grows well when fed with nitrogen fertilizers.. The first feeding occurs two weeks after the landing.
To increase the green mass of sprouts, except for pinching the tops, cut flowers on them.
The soil around the plants is loosened and weeded away from weeds. For the summer season will be enough 6-7 times. After weeding and loosening, the sprouts are watered abundantly.
Collection of crops in the garden
Basil leaves are harvested before flowering. Then the concentration of essential oils and vitamins peak. An immature bud is a sign to collect leaves.
The grass blooms until the first autumn days. Do not forget that this is a thermophilic plant. Before the onset of the first frost, it is transplanted into a greenhouse or house. Grass grows without problems in a pot for indoor plants. She decorates the house and fills the room with a spicy scent.
After harvesting the crop is dried:
- Outdoors. The leaves are washed, remove debris and spread on a towel. When the water is drained they put on a baking sheet. It is better to tie a large crop in bunches and hang it on a rope in a warm room without direct sunlight.
- In the oven. The washed and dried leaves are laid out on a baking sheet in a preheated oven at 400 ° C. Drying will take 2 hours.
- In the microwave. At full power drying will take 3 minutes.
Readiness is determined manually. Dried herbs crumble easily in the hands. It is stored in dry glass jars or paper bags.Basil plant care
Frozen Whole Leaves
They are washed and dipped for 3 seconds in boiling water. Then cooled in cold water. A little dried on a towel and laid out in packets in small portions. Then put in the freezer.
Fast freezing of chopped leaves
They are washed, finely chopped and filled with water. Water is poured into molds and placed in a freezer. If instead of water to use olive oil, you get an excellent preparation for frying in a pan.Basil Seeds
Basil has long been known to man. He takes pride of place in the kitchen of many countries: Greece, France, Italy and Thailand. In the Caucasus, he even got his own name - Regan.
It has vitamins:
- C (lowers blood cholesterol)
- B (riboflavin, useful for eyes)
- PP (nicotinic acid for healthy skin and stomach lining)
Growing red basil in the area is simple. The plant is unpretentious and requires little care and attention. You can sow it almost half of May. A pick a plant is needed far from always. In addition, the plant quickly rises and grows rapidly. Harvesting and harvesting is easy. To diversify the table and pamper yourself "king" among the herbs will not take a lot of time and effort.