Sow Lemon Basil seeds indoors from January to December in trays of seed compost 5mm in-depth and cover with finely sieved compost or vermiculite. Growing them in a greenhouse or on a windowsill is also an option. Keep them protected and at a temperature of 18-20 degrees Celsius. Keep moisten, and germination will occur in about a week or two. To prevent damping off, water sparingly once the seeds have germinated. Each seedling should be transplanted to a small pot and grown for four weeks. You can either transplant a larger pot about 15cm wide or a garden, spacing plants every 25cm apart in 25cm rows.
CARE FOR LEMON BASIL AFTER GERMINATION
Sunny, sheltered soil with good drainage is ideal for growing lemon basil. However, the midday sun is not suitable for the plant. It would help if you only planted in the garden after all danger of frost has passed - late May to early June. You can also sow directly in the soil when nighttime temperatures reach 13C around June, but the greenhouse method is more effective. You shouldn't overwater basil, but keep it moist and don't water the foliage. Be sure to wet in the morning rather than in the evening. To encourage bushy basil plants, pinch out growing tips two weeks after transplant. It would help if you cut basil before flowering, as this takes away from the taste.
USES AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF LEMON BASIL
Only lemon basil is used much in Indonesian cuisine, where it is called kemangi. In Thailand, it's commonly eaten raw with salad or lalap (raw veggies) and sambal. Some Indonesian dishes, such as curries, soups, stews, and steamed or grilled dishes, are seasoned with lemon basil. Beta-carotene, a pigment that converts to vitamin A in the body to protect against blindness, is abundant in lemon basil. They are also high in vitamin K to aid in wound healing and magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, calcium, and vitamin C.
Note:Information provided for guidance only, as cultural practices and climatic circumstances vary.
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