Italian, Genovese Basil

This popular Basil variety has gigantic leaves. Plants grow large green leaves 2 to 4 inches long. Compared to Genovese basil, the aroma and taste are sweeter and softer. It is used fresh in many cuisines, in sauces, salads and cooked dishes. 
Chefs in the Neapolitan region of Italy consider this sweet basil of the Genoese type to be the main type of basil for their traditional cuisine. Originally from India and ancient Persia, basil has long been considered one of the most revered herbs. Ancient legends claim that it has healing properties. In many cultures, basil is a symbol of love and is presented as a sign of affection; other meanings include protection and truth. In Greek and Roman cultures, basil represented hatred and unhappiness. Because of this, gardeners often shouted insults at their plants to help them grow. Opinions on the properties of basil are divided. Basil was popular throughout England, loved for its aroma; many people have added it to their gardens, added it to their bouquets, and used it to freshen the air in their homes. English kings preferred basil and used it for culinary and cosmetic purposes, which is why chefs sometimes call it "the king of herbs." In medicine, basil oil is often used to treat depression and anxiety, colds, cough or sore throat, and insect bites. Unfortunately, medicated doses of basil are not safe for pregnant women, although it can be used in cooking.

 

How to grow Genovese (Italian) Basil from seeds:

  • Sowing: Basil grows well in warm weather when the soil warms up and is free from frost. You can plant seeds indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost, sowing them in a thin layer and providing warmth to accelerate germination. Transfer 15-18 ″. For direct sowing, plant Italian large-leaved basil seeds 1/4-inch deep in rich soil and full sun, thinning to 15-18 inches apart as the seedlings develop. Large-leaved Italian basil seeds also grow well indoors or as a container plant.
    • Plant Spacing: 15-18″.
  • Growing of Genovese (Italian) Basil: Basil thrives in well-drained soil and constant watering. If the weather drops below 50 degrees, provide protection. As the plant grows, pruning helps it develop into a bushy and healthy plant. Pruning is also important because once the plant is in bloom, it will wilt and die. To prune the plant, remove some of the top leaves on each stem, leaving at least three sets of leaves on the bottom.
  • Genovese (Italian) Basil Soil Requirements for: Moderately rich, moist soil. Avoid drought and heat stress damage. For a good harvest, regular moisture is required throughout the growing season.
  • Genovese (Italian) Basil Seeds Days to Germination: 7-14 Days.
  • Light Preference of Genovese (Italian) Basil: Full Sun.
  • Life Cycle of Genovese (Italian) Basil: Annual.
  • How and When to Harvest Genovese (Italian) Basil: Start harvesting as soon as the leaves are 6-8 inches tall. A good time to harvest is in the morning when the dew dries up. Once the plant has taken root, harvesting often improves production. As soon as the flowers grow, the leaves taste bitter. If necessary, remove individual leaves or portions of the stem, being careful to leave at least three sets of leaves per branch length for healthy growth. When harvesting, pinch off the stem just above the next set of leaves. Fresh basil can be stored for several days at room temperature in a glass of water. When stored in the refrigerator, it fades and turns brown. Perfect for freezing and drying. Because the water content of basil is very high and it can grow moldy easily, the best drying method is a dehydrator, oven, or similar dry, warm place.
  • Genovese (Italian) Basil Days to Maturity: 70.
  • Genovese (Italian) Basil Seeds Saving: At the end of flowering, the seeds of the Italian large-leaved basil will begin to develop. When they turn brown, gather clusters of pods and lay them out to dry in a sheltered place away from direct sunlight. Thresh the ears to remove seeds and clean out as much debris as possible. Store your seeds in a cool, dry place.

FAST FACTS:

  • Common Names: Genovese Basil, Italian Basil
  • Latin Name: Ocimum basilicum
  • Species Origin: Native to India and ancient Persia
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
  • Seeds per Ounce:  21,000
  • Sunlight: Full Sun
  • Height: 30 Inches
  • Color: Green
  • Bloom Season: Blooms Late Summer, Blooms Early Fall
  • Uses: Culinary, Aromatic
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