Beetroot are a bit of a neglected vegetable, but they’re easy to grow and offer something new and fresh to your kitchen.
Want to make pesto from scratch to keep up with your Jamie Oliver obsessed friends? Then start with growing basil at home: you will need plenty of it.
No kitchen is complete without a few herbs, and though you can buy specimens from the supermarket, it’s often easier and more satisfying to grow plants, such as basil, yourself. Basil is a fantastic annual that will give you fresh leaves throughout the growing season. If you plant seeds at intervals you’ll prolong your fresh harvest, ensuring that you have wonderful flavours to pick at home.
Sowing basil seeds
Basil is often best grown in a pot that’s located in a sunny position. There’s nothing worse to a basil plant than wet roots, so ensure that the soil is free draining and isn’t allowed to become waterlogged.
Basil can be sown on warm windowsills between January and April, or directly into flower borders from March. Scatter seeds on the surface of moist soil and cover with a very fine layer of soil so that emerging shoots don’t have far to go to find light.
Maintenance and harvesting
Once the first shoots have grown, take care to keep soil moist but never too wet. As basil is an annual, you can allow several small plants to grow together in the same pot.
Harvesting is easy, and you can promote bushier growth by pinching out the growing tips. Alternatively, remove several of the larger leaves from different stems.