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Romanesco Basil Seeds

Romanesco Basil Seeds

The most aromatic and flavorful sweet basil

(P) Pkt of 100 seeds
Item # 52428-PK-P1
Instock - allow 3-5 business days for processing prior to shipment.

Days to Maturity: 70 from direct sow

Here it is, the variety that tops everyone's list of flavorful, wildly fragrant basils. Romanesco is a sweet basil with large leaves (and plenty of 'em, thanks to excellent branching on big plants) and a higher oil content than others. More oil means more aroma and richer flavor. And you will smell the difference even before you taste it.

Romanesco is a must-have for any chef's garden, and it should not be confined to the herb garden by any means. Fragrance this strong is fabulous to deter pests in the veggie patch, and makes a fine companion to scentless flowering annuals from zinnia to petunia.

Romanesco reaches 32 inches high and about 24 inches wide. The exceptionally long leaves are packed with flavor on very well-branched plants that give you generous yields all season. Harvest Romanesco leaf-by-leaf or simply cut back the whole plant for drying or freezing.

Basil is easy to grow. Begin the seeds either indoors in late winter or direct-sow in spring. To start indoors, sow about 6 to 8 weeks before last scheduled frost. The seeds will germinate in 5 to 10 days. Transplant when they have 2 sets of true leaves, spacing the plants 18 to 24 inches apart in the garden, or individually in containers.

If you are direct-sowing outdoors, wait until the soil has thoroughly warmed up in spring. Then cover the seeds with about ¼-inch of soil, and thin the young plants to 12 to 15 inches apart when they are about 2 inches tall.

As your basil plants grow, pinch off the central stem when they are about 6 weeks old, and prune back each stem when it has more than 8 sets of leaves. (Cut it back to the first or second set of leaves, harvesting the rest.) If you keep your plants well pinched and pruned, you should be able to harvest up to half a cup of fresh leaves every week during the growing season.

Basil loves hot weather and plenty of sunshine, but it needs consistently moist, rich soil. Mulch these plants to retain moisture, and water heavily during dry spells. Harvest the plant before the cold weather sets in, as this will affect the leaves' texture and flavor. Freeze entire stems, with the leaves still attached, for best flavor retention, or dry the leaves for seasoning.