BASIL - The King of the Herbs

Basil O’ Sweet Basil! Everyone must touch sweet basil and smell that flavour coming off the will surely stay with you forever.  Basil is originally from India and was first grown in Asia and the Middle East. It is called 'King of the Herbs', for it is truly the strongest most potent flavour, therefore please let it sit on the throne of your garden and rule!

To grow your own basil is not difficult and there are a lot of varieties to choose from e.g. Basil Eleonora, Basil Newton, Cinnamon Basil, Genovese Basil, Dolce Fresca Italian Basil, Basil Culinary and Basil Everleaf Emerald Tower. Basil can be grown as a microgreen very successfully and also picked young to be used in a fresh salad or as a garnish.

Firstly, start of in Jiffy Pots with Jiffy Pellets as your medium or in a Tray with Freedom farm seed starter craft soil. Your Jiffy pellets need to be wet so that the pellets can swell out - you will be surprised how they just pop.  The craft soil just needs to be moist and you can fill a small flat tray or a six cell black tray.

For a bigger yield use a big tray either with separate holes, so that your plants are separate when you want to plant them out or in a tray that you can split. Sow the seeds and cover with 5mm of soil.

Basil seeds should germinate in about a week’s time. Once the seedlings have developed 2 pairs of true leaves and if you sowed them close together, you can then thin them out to bigger pots. Basil should be grown in an area that receives around 6-8 hours of sunlight - it can even be grown indoors in a sunny windowsill, by your kitchen window perhaps, for easy access! If flowers appear, please break them off as this will encourage your basil plant to bush out more and more.

Water your basil regularly, as they do like water, but they must not be waterlogged. Water at soil level and not on the foliage as this could stain the leaves.


Basil can be used in several ways as fresh leaves in salads or as a garnish on top of dishes, such as pizza! But what I recently made from my basil was Pesto!

Basil Pesto is made from the follow ingredients: fresh basil leaves, chickpeas, walnuts or pecan nuts, garlic gloves or paste, lemon juice and olive oil. Together with a little bit of parmesan or mozzarella cheese and salt and pepper to your taste!

The recipe I used is as follows:
50 grams of Fresh Basil
50 grams of Pecan nuts
2 grams of crushed garlic or paste
20ml of lemon juice
50ml of olive oil
Pepper and salt
Parmesan or mozzarella cheese

Use a blender, food processor or mortar and pestle to crush the fresh basil leaves, nuts, lemon juice and garlic together.  Then add the oil and cheese and mix all together. Lasly, add pepper and salt to taste. It should last about 5 days refrigerated or you can freeze it in ice cube trays or in glass jars up to 6 months. Basil Pesto can be enjoyed in pasta, on bread and also with eggs and chicken, to name a few suggestions.


I really loved the whole process of growing a plant and then tasting the leaves and indeed the 'fruits of your labour'.  This was my first attempt and I will certainly make it again, but first I need to grow a bigger crop of basil! 

Basil surely is the 'King of the Herbs'!

About the Author

Adele Siemssen is the Seeds for Africa Operations supervisor.  Adele is a qualified horticulturist with 30 years of hands on experience and loves pets and assisting customers to make their garden dreams come true!