Genovese basil is from the Genoa area of Italy, the pesto capital of the world. The leaves are larger than sweet basil and have a more bushy growth. The flavour is pungent, slightly spicy, and very aromatic. ‘Genovese’ is the classic basil for pesto and tomato-based dishes. The sweet, large, dark-green leaves grow up to 2 inches long, and the plant is slow to go to seed in the heat. In the summer, it blooms with spikes of pale-pink or purple flowers.
How to Grow Genovese Basil
Basil is straightforward to grow. Germination takes approximately one week. Basil prefers full-sun, and rich, moist, well-drained soil. Bury seeds .5 cm deep ¼”. For best germination results grow indoors in sterilized soil; black earth/peat moss mixture. Keep soil moist, but never soggy. Transplant outside after the risk of frost. Rows 30-90 cm/12-36” apart.
Ocimum basilicum ‘Genovese’
When to Sow: Spring
Light conditions: Full sun to partial shade
Uses: Culinary, beverage, aromatic
Ease of Germination: Easy
How to Harvest Basil
Once it is over 2″ in height, you can start pinching the stem it back at the internodes, so that it encourages more bushy growth. Don’t let it come to flower as it will lessen the flavour quality of the leaves considerably, as well as shorten the life span of the plant.
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