TASTY HERB FOR ASIAN DISHES

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | GARDEN - INMYGARDEN WORDS : ANGIE THOMAS

Thai basil is an es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ent in Thai, Viet­namese, Lao and Cam­bo­dian cuisines. It has an anise taste that adds de­li­cious aroma and flavour to Thai green and red cur­ries and the leaves re­tain their scent and taste with high cook­ing tem­per­a­tures bet­ter than sweet basil va­ri­eties.

Thai basil is easy to sow and grow and is ideal for in­clud­ing in the vegie and herb patch or in pots, in ei­ther full sun or part shade. Sow these basil seeds di­rectly where the plants are to grow, giv­ing each plant about 20cm of space. Cover with a 5mm layer of seed-rais­ing mix, keep moist and seedlings will emerge in 5–10 days.

Feed the basil plants each week with fer­tiliser to en­cour­age lots of lush leaf growth. Plants will ma­ture about eight weeks after sow­ing and fre­quent pick­ing of leaves will help pro­mote a con­tin­u­ous sup­ply. Leaves can also be dried for later use, or wrap sprigs in bak­ing pa­per and plas­tic be­fore freez­ing.

Sow more seeds ev­ery few weeks to en­sure a con­tin­u­ous sup­ply. Thai basil has pretty flow­ers and al­low­ing a few plants to flower adds colour to the vegie patch.

Angie Thomas is a hor­ti­cul­tur­ist at Yates.

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