How to Grow Basil with elements Restaurant’s Scott Anderson

As one of nature’s greatest gifts, basil proves to be a cinch in the garden
How to Grow Basil

Scott Anderson of Elements gives his tips for keeping your basil alive and flourishing


How to Grow Basil

It’s hard to get enough of basil — the flavorful herb adds a touch of freshness to any dish you’re preparing — and thankfully, the plant is quite easy to grow as well, explains Scott Anderson from elements Restaurant in Princeton, N.J.

Basil can easily be grown indoors or outside, with the general rule of thumb being that the plant needs plenty of sunlight and soil that drains well. The best and easiest way to start growing basil is to buy a pre-potted plant, rather than starting from seeds, and to either continue to grow it on a windowsill or transfer it to garden soil. To make sure it’s well-hydrated and it’s getting its fill of sunlight, water the plant once a week and pinch out any flowers that sprout so that the leaves have more potential to grow. Start growing basil in the late spring, when the winter’s frost is gone, because as a Mediterranean plant, it does not hold up well in cold weather.

When the plant is ready to harvest, make sure to only pick the bigger leaves. As Scott Anderson explains in his interview with The Daily Meal, the biggest mistake you can make with basil is over-pruning, because the plant needs its leaves to absorb sunlight.

Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce