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Bountiful Basil

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Boxwood basil
Boxwood basil has tiny leaves that can be used without chopping.
Sweet Basil
Sweet basil is the classic variety for making pesto. Pinching off the blooms encourages more leaf growth.

By Renee Adam

Here in Birmingham, Alabama, the temperatures continue to soar between 95 to 100 degrees. With Labor Day approaching, I am tired of this dry, hot weather and ready for fall. I think my garden is, too!

As I usually do over the weekend, I went out to look my garden over and get inspired for my next blog post, but I had trouble finding anything inspiring. I started to feel the way my tomato plants look. My tomatoes have long stringy vines, a few blooms left here and there, but for the most part they have done their job and want a rest. A few peppers are hanging on, barely. Cucumbers? Done. I had to remind myself to focus on the positive…look around and see the positive.

And then, there they were right in front of my eyes. I had let myself be so distracted by veggies on their way out that I hadn’t stopped to praise all my basil. Yeah for basil!

I’m growing three varieties of basil this year: Sweet, Boxwood, and Spicy Globe. I have to say, all of them have done so well. I am surely going to pick a lot this year to make pesto before the first frost comes, and freeze it to use over the winter. I make simple pesto by putting basil leaves and olive oil in my small food processor. Some cooks like to add garlic, but I prefer to add the garlic after I defrost.

This is a great time to check your herbs for blooms. You must snip the bloom off the basil in order for it to keep producing leaves. Learn more about how to grow basil on the Bonnie Plants website.