Basil – Ocimum basilicum

Draft 1.0 9/25/2020

Basil is a culinary herb from the mint (Lamiaceae) family. Be aware basil definitely doesn’t smell like mint. Out of all of the herbs I have found in the produce section of the grocery store, I’ve only noticed basil being sold in little pots…as a plant. Yes, you can also find a sprig of basil in the herb section in their little plastic pods year round. From experience basil is a wonderful herb to grow in a pot in or near your kitchen window and even outdoors. When you clip it to use on a margarita pizza it will keep producing more leaves. I planted basil one year in my front yard as a boarder and by summer the sweet scent of basil was a wonderful treat when walking in front of my flower garden bed. Come to find out basil can also be called great basil or Saint Joseph Wort.

Presto Pesto

Tip – Basil flowers are perfectly edible. They can be  sprinkled over a salad or any dish desired. Basil flowers have a mild basil flavor and can add a creative decorative touch. They also make a great garnish for anything that pairs well with basil especially Italian dishes. Basil goes great with pasta, cheese, fresh fruit, plates of meat or vegetables. I’ve heard some Italian cooks say basil is only for tearing when serving but a good pesto is delicious on a plate of pasta.

Incredible  Health Benefits

Basil known also as  the “King of Herbs” no wonder it has so many nicknames because basil is used extensively in Italian, Thai, Vietnamese, Mediterranean, and Indonesian cuisine. Basil is one of the healthiest herbs. When I cook for my family I like to know what I’m cooking is healthy. Basil leaves act as a kidney tonic by cleansing the kidneys and lowering uric acid levels, which is the root cause of kidney stones. Also among  other benefits basil can facilitate optimal digestion. Basil fortifies the digestive and nervous system and can be a good remedy for headaches and insomnia. Basil helps wonders by balancing acid within the body and restores the body’s proper pH level. When our bodies are at the correct pH level we allow our body to lose unwanted fat cells. Basil also keeps our heart healthy and prevents cardiovascular disease.

Growing Basil


Basil thrives in moist well drained soil whether it’s outside or in a pot. I’ve started all of my basil plants from seeds. Basil is very sensitive to cooler temps so when I’ve started the seeds inside at the beginning of the year I’ll place the basil starts in the garage for a day or so to harden before planting outside. It is important to plant outside  after the last frost in the spring and transplant or cultivate your basil before the first frost of the fall. Basil will wilt and die if left outside with freezing temperatures. Tip it’s great to plant your basil near or next to your tomatoes in your outside garden. This can be a quick pick for a caprese salad or margarita pizza.


Basil is a tropical herb and Basil loves the sun. six to eight hours a day in the sun is ideal for vibrant leaves that will continue to produce after clipping.


Water your basil often. When it does become super hot in the summer, if your basil is planted outside make sure it is watered daily. Basil thrives when the soil is moist.

Easy Pesto


1 cup fresh basil leaves.

3 cloves garlic, peeled.

3 tablespoons pine nuts.

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan.

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

1/3 cup olive oil.

Blend all together in a food processor until smooth


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Plantain Lilies – Hosta Funkia

Rough Draft 1.0  9/22/2020

Hostas AKA plantain lilies are beautiful shade-tolerant plants that cultivate full foliage and are even seen topped with flowers during a growing season. I tend to admire and enjoy purple and blue flowers in a garden. The wide brim hosta brings tall purple bells during mid summer. During the winter the leaves drop and the plants appear lifeless. During this time, the roots are busy storing energy for the new growth. Hostas are perennials so they will return year after year and the foliage laves are quite unique in their own way as they start to emerge in the spring. During the winter the leaves drop and the plants appear lifeless. During this time, the roots are busy storing energy for the new growth. When spring comes the hosta leaves and blooms will be bigger and larger every year until full grown.

Planting Hostas

The best time to plant hostas is in the Fall. Hostas love the rich. Moist and well-drained soil. If you need to due to poor soil; fertilize your Hosta in spring to mid-summer with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer. Cease feeding after July to allow the plant to harden for the winter. Between two to three hours of morning sun and shade through the afternoon is enjoyable for a hosta. Tip – blue hostas need more shade to retain their blue color. The yellow and white leaved varieties need more sun to maintain their colors. Both leaves and flowers can be cut from the plant without harming the plant. Yearly when the hosta is finished blooming, remove the dead stalks. 

Propagate and Divide

It takes 4-8 years for a hosta to reach full size. Propagate by dividing crowded clumps in the spring when new shoots appear. The best time is in the fall after the leaves die or in August/mid-Sept, or one month before the first frost. This will give the roots sufficient time to establish themselves before winter

When planting bulbs in the fall reach for hosts roots to line, border, or use as a backdrop in your flower or landscape gardens. You will be so pleased seeing their foliage and their blooms year after year.