PLEASE NOTE: Since plants are often sourced from the garden to order, sizes do vary a little, depending on how they come out of the ground, but I always endeavour to give a little more rather than less! They are sometimes shipped bare-rooted, but will approximate the size specified (e.g. a 9cm pot).

Ocimum basilicum 'Dark Opal' (Organic)
Basil 'Dark Opal'
Currently unavailable
Type/Hardiness Annual, Biennial, Half hardy
Flowering period July-August
Height 12-16in/30-40cm
Light preference Full sun/part shade
Soil preference Well-drained, light, fertile
Sowing time/depth Spring, barely cover
A dark-purple variety of basil, with smaller, more toothed leaves than the more commonly-grown Sweet Genovese. Great for adding contrasting colour to salads and tomato dishes. For companion planting enthusiasts, basil is said to encourage the growth of tomatoes, peppers and chillies!

NOTE: These are externally sourced, organic seeds.

Sowing and/or growing instructions
Sow thinly on the surface of good quality, moderately moist compost from February to June (April onwards is generally safer in an unheated greenhouse, as basil resents cold and damp), barely covering with a little more compost or fine vermiculite, seal in a plastic bag and provide a temperature of 60-75F/15-25C until germination occurs (usually 14-21 days). Basil is prone to botrytis, so don't overwater and ensure adequate ventilation. Transplant seedlings when they are large enough to handle (I usually plant 3 to a 6in pot, but they can go into individual 3in pots). I don't plant them into the open ground, preferring to keep them under glass in all but the warmest, driest periods, when they can be put outside. Feed regularly with a liquid fertiliser. Pick young stems regularly to encourage bushiness. Basil can also be sown more thickly ate in the year and grown indoors on a sunny window sill as young plants for winter use, as a cut-and-come-again crop.
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Norfolk Cottage Garden - Free Seeds!
Choose a packet of seeds from the three varieties below and it will be added to your order absolutely FREE!
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Nicotiana 'Lime Green'
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Agrostis nebulosa
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Nicandra physalodes Shoo-fly plant

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