Almost every year we end up planting basil. I love pesto, and almost cannot make enough every summer! We also like basil in other forms like Holy Basil to make refreshing and medicinal tea.
This year, we are going all out with planting basil! What would you expect with all of the luscious tomatoes Greg has out there growing? A tomato and pesto open faced sandwich on good toasted bread is one of the joys of summer to me!
Planting Basil in the Terraced Gardens
We are expanding the herb terraces. They’re all mixed up with flowers and herbs (like I like it!), so we are concentrating on just edibles in this lower level. Mostly we are planting basil varieties, but there will be some gorgeous merlot lettuce and some assorted kale plants too.
First, we have worked like slaves building the rock wall for the terrace. We heaved some mighty heavy boulders and built that all by the sweat of our backs (for the new beds—the standing terraces had to me made with an excavator). Greg got it started, and I expanded it, and finally the boys came in and helped finish it up. I wish I’d called them sooner–I could have saved my back!
Over on my Social Sites
IF you follow my Instagram reels, you may have seen the huge load of composited leaf mulch that Greg brought home last week! That looked way too daunting to move, but yesterday Andrew and I dug in, and moved many wheelbarrow loads (like over 20) to fill in almost half of the garden. That gave me enough to play around with! I very much enjoyed myself laying out the basil and lettuce plants yesterday afternoon.
Today, the boys did more moving of mulch, but then it rained, so they took a break.
Here’s a peek into our basil and herb raised bed garden. Also, on my Instagram reels I actually have a brief video of the basil beds.
Planting Basil in the Raised Beds
So far (and that is subject to change) we have grown from seed the following varieties of basil:
Some will be linked to Baker Creek, and some to Amazon
- Purple Ball Basil. Really excited about this one!
- Mammolo (Large leaf)
- Cardinal Basil. This is gorgeous!
- Thai Sweet Basil
- Holy Basil (not sure the variety–probably Temperate, but we grew four varieties last year and did not save the seeds. Now we are getting volunteers, so don’t know which type yet).
- Lime Basil (hopefully–this is one of the volunteers!)
- Genovese (growing)
- Sweet basil (planted and have not seen it emerge yet)
What Else is Growing With the Basil?
- Bloody Dock–more of a novelty because it’s interesting and looks cool! But you can definitely eat it as a green and it’s super nutritious!
- Merlot lettuce. A deep rich red lettuce!
- A mixture of kale varieties, including Dazzling Blue, Curly Kale, and a couple more.
- Cherry Red Nasturtium
- Dark Red Scarlet Flame Zinnias. Did you know the at you can eat zinnias?
My plan is kind of this: Basil plus Deep Red edible flowers! With the rich purple clump basil growing, then the varied shades of all of the other basils, I’m excited to see what this garden looks like when it’s mature!
What is your favorite thing to grow?
You know I love sunflowers, but they aren’t to eat. I know technically they are, but they’re more of a novelty to me.
For me, basil means pesto, and I love a good pesto with potatoes, home grown tomatoes, on toast, and on pizza! Oh, and pasta! Yum!
My basic pesto recipe is in the food section of my blog. Perfectly Plant Based Pesto. Just talking about this is already making me hungry! These basil plants can’t grow fast enough for me!!
Interestingly, my sister in law recently sent me a recipe for pesto made from nasturtiums, which sounds interesting, but spicy! I may give it a whirl this year! She sent me a different recipe, but this nasturtium pesto recipe is whole foods, plant based, aka vegan, so I’m linking that one.
We got some of our basil seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, some from Lowes, some from seeds we’ve saved, and some from who knows where–packets in our seed collection.
Hope you enjoyed a peek into our herb bed where we’re growing basil this year! Stay tuned to see what will grow in the other half!
Love this post! I love growing basil, too, but I think this is a true passion of yours. I’d never even heard of some of these types like the cardinal basil! You’re definitely making me want to expand my basil varieties…Thanks for your great advice and suggestions. 🙂
It’s definitely fun to explore the different kinds, but I’m sure it’s not for everyone.
Actually, the reason I like to grow basil is because I really like to Eat pesto!