Before we relocated to Cali I was prepping for a garden. I had built 2 raised wood beds and started seeds by the time we got the news. Needless to say you can't ship lumber and plants across the country. Boo!
To make up for the lost garden this summer I bought some herbs to put on our patio. Right now we have Rosemary (I use this one a lot), Basil, Mint, and Lemon Balm (I haven't used this yet). I had cilantro and used it a few times before it bolted and started producing flowers.
I've been researching how to care for these plants and have the following tips for growing Basil:
1. Let the soil dry completely before watering again. The water should be able to drain quickly. My basil is planted in terracotta pots which I think wick moisture out of the soil.
2. Keep in a sunny area. My basil gets 8 hours of direct sunlight a day and it seems to like it.
3. When you start to see the tiny leaves and flowers (like the above picture) appear cut them off.
4. To get basil to grow bushier you can cut from the first 3-5 sets of leaves and up off. Don't worry the basil won't die. I promise.
I love putting basil on sandwiches, it gives everything a nice subtle spicy, peppery taste. I have also been know to slice some up and throw it onto scrambles eggs for a "gourmet" touch!