Common Name: Basil
Skill Level: Beginner
Exposure: Full sun
Soil type: Well-drained/light
Time to plant seeds: March to May
Basil is an essential Mediterranean annual with a uniquely warm flavour that complements tomato dishes. This is the basic kind, easily raised from seed and kept productive by frequently pinching out of shoot tips for use in the kitchen. There are many other kinds of basil, often with subtly different and compulsive aromas, and all make fine pot plants for a warm sheltered spot. Outdoors they need protection from wind and frost. Always water with care, ideally before midday, and try to avoid splashing the leaves to keep them in good condition.