Annual Herb. Leaves have a spicy flavor which makes green salads, tomato and cheese dishes, soups and omelets extra delicious. The entire plant has a very pleasing aroma.
Sow seeds as soon as ground can be worked. (For early bloom, start indoors 6 weeks before transplanting.) When plants are well-established, thin or transplant. Begin harvesting all but 2 or 3 leaves at the base of each branch before flowers bloom. Preserve leaves by drying or freezing.
One of the great joys of summer is sweet basil. It is a must have if you love to cook and eat! I start seedlings inside for my first crop and then sow directly in the garden once the soil warms. Delicious with so many summer treats such as tomatoes and corn pudding.