Basil - Christmas
This is a wonderful new basil from British breeding of Thai and Genovese crosses. Basil Christmas produces large glossy leaves with a unique fruity, mulled-wine aroma associated with Christmas time. The aromatic foliage adds flavour to all manner of dishes, particularly Italian recipes. A profusion of stunning purple flowers makes this herb a decorative, edible pot plant for the kitchen windowsill, the flower border, or for containers outside.
Sow basil seed from February to June, or sow throughout the year for indoor cultivation out of season. Sow seed on the surface of free draining seed compost and cover with a light sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Place in a propagator at a temperature of 15-25C or seal the container inside a polythene bag until after germination, which takes 14-21 days. Keep the compost slightly dry at all times, watering very lightly as seedlings emerge. When they are large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into 7.5cm pots and grow basil plants on in cooler conditions. When all risk of frost has passed, harden basil plants off before planting out in a sheltered sunny position in well drained, fertile sandy soil; or potting into patio containers, window boxes, or windowsill pots indoors.