5 Benefits of Growing Basil in Your Home - Backyard Boss
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5 Benefits of Growing Basil in Your Home

Basil is both ornamental and an edible member of the mint family, immediately making it a great addition to your home garden. It is easy to grow indoors and outdoors, but there are a few reasons to keeping them indoors that may pique your interest. Not only is it beautiful, it’s perfect to keep in the kitchen!

Curious about all the different benefits of growing basil in your home? Learn all about the different ways you can use this herb year-round.

Fresh Herbs, Fresh Meals

Woman pruning basil plant
Image credits: Tina Dawson via Unsplash

It is no secret that basil is a delicious, flavorful garnish for almost any pasta dish. Keeping your basil indoors and accessible throughout the year makes it even easier to sprinkle a few leaves onto your meals. Plus, it’s more affordable than purchasing the herb at the store! There are over 150 varieties of basil, so it is crucial to find one that is good for cooking, such as lettuce leaf, dark opal, and goddess basil.

Pesto Recipe: With fresh basil nearby, you can also try making pesto sauce. Just pulse 2 cups of leaves with a third cup of pine nuts in a food processor. Add three cloves of minced garlic and a half cup of grated Romano cheese, and slowly pour in a half cup of olive oil while the food processor is running. Season with salt and pepper to taste, enjoying on crackers, bread, and pasta.

Creative Cocktails

Basil, lime, and ginger cocktail
Image credits: Kim Daniels via Unsplash

Making your cocktails at home is a fun and exciting experience, whether you’re enjoying a night of self-care or throwing a dinner party with your best pals. Gin and vodka are classic pairings with basil, the spirits flattered by the mild and sweet flavor and aroma of the herb.

Make your home bar stand out by keeping a fresh basil plant nearby!

Recipes: Create a basil ginger gimlet by mixing gin, lime juice, and soda water with the herb and ginger. You can also try a twist on a Moscow mule by mixing vodka, lime juice, ginger beer, crushed strawberries, and basil leaves. If you’d prefer to not drink alcohol, basil is scrumptious in soda water, ginger ale, and other beverages!

Share and Experiment

Home gardening, cutting herbs with paper scissors
Image credits: DarwelShots via Shutterstock

With so many types of basil available on the market, there’s plenty of room to try out new flavors and ornamental plants and enjoy unique aromas. 

It is the perfect opportunity to expand your palate, adding different basil varieties to the meals and cocktails you test out. Plus, you can share the love, pruning off a few clippings, and passing them along to friends!

Health Benefits

Basil mortar and pestle
Image credits: kerdkanno via Pixabay

Like rosemary, basil has a few medicinal benefits. The herb contains compounds that are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. On top of that, some research shows that the herb can even help regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Basil is known to improve stress levels and mental well-being, but it’s no surprise that the sweet, mild flavor makes people a little happier!

Note: Since it is high in vitamin K, the herb may interfere with blood thinning medications. Speak with your doctor before consuming high amounts of basil.

Companion Planting

Basil and tomatoes
Image credits: congerdesign via Pixabay

While summer is the classic season for salads, you may catch yourself craving a filling and refreshing Caprese salad during the winter months. Fortunately, if you grow tomatoes and basil in your home, you have constant access to two essential ingredients! On top of that, basil is the perfect companion plant to tomatoes.

Cinnamon basil is a good variety for companion planting since it repels insects such as aphidsmites, and tomato hornworms. The leaves are also cinnamon-scented and bloom flowers with a pinkish hue.

Basil Care Tips

Image credits: encierro via Shutterstock

With so many reasons to grow basil in your home, you may be curious about recommended care. Fortunately, this herb is very low-maintenance!

  • Keep soil moist but not soggy. Stick your finger in the top inch of the soil to test if it is time to water; if the soil is dry, water the plant. If not, wait a little longer!
  • Prune and harvest the plant when it becomes leggy and never allow it to flower (unless it is ornamental).
  • Place it in a sunny spot with at least six to eight hours of sunlight a day.
  • Keep the plant in average household temperatures, around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fertilize twice a month at most with balanced liquid fertilizer.

Rooting For You!

Whether you display it on your kitchen window or grow an indoor herb garden, basil boasts many benefits when grown in the home. Though you can grow it outdoors, it is much more accessible when you do it inside. Plus, you can grow it year-round no matter where you are. It is perfect for cooking, exciting and delicious drinks, and repelling insects, and it even has medicinal benefits.

Do you know of any benefits of growing basil? Share in the comments below!

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