Red Leaf Basil Seeds
DAYS TO HARVEST
continual leaf harvest starting from ~30 days after transplanting
Sow red leaf basil seeds 4 weeks before the last frost in a bright and warm place, at least 70F. Keep moist but not too wet as the seeds germinate. Transplant when the plants have at least 6 true leaves. If the plants have more than 6 true leaves, feel free to pinch out the first set carefully in order to promote branching even before you transplant them. Use these first baby leaves in spring salads.
Basil will grow in many soils, but will like a little compost.
Not frost hardy.
Harvest leaves and stems just above the nodes to encourage branching and increase leaf production. Pinch out any buds as they form to ensure leaf production. If you wish to allow your red leaf basil to flower the for bees or for edible flowers, be aware that this will decrease leaf production.
USES & COOKING SUGGESTIONS
This beautiful basil is similar in flavor to the green-leafed basil, although a little milder. Use whole leaves in salads, or chiffonade as a garnish. Try this: thinly sliced chinese cabbage, peeled pink grapefruit sections, toasted, roughly chopped hazelnuts, and a chiffonade (thinly sliced leaves) of red basil with a fresh grapefruit juice vinaigrette. Add a salty, crumbly cheese like feta if you wish.