Genovese basil is the very best Italian pesto variety of basil. This is the traditional Italian heirloom variety of basil. It has shiny, large, almond-shaped leaves that have a more pronounced flavour, and stores well if chopped and frozen in ice cube trays. Pinch growing tips for bushier plants that grow to 60cm (24″) tall. Basil is a heat-loving tender annual plant that requires good drainage and ample moisture during hot weather.
SOWING AND GROWING: Plant seeds 1/8″ deep, 2-3 seeds per inch, in rows 12-18″ apart. Firm the soil over the seeds. Note: Basil requires some light for germination, so sow more shallowly than other basils. Transplant: Sow indoors 6 weeks prior to setting out. Plant 1/8″ deep and keep at 70°F (21°C) for best germination. Transplant to the field when seedlings have 3-4 sets of leaves, spacing at 4-8″ apart in rows 18″ apart.
HARVESTING: Begin light harvesting after plants have become established. It is best done in the early morning when the temperature is cooler and the leaves are less likely to wilt. A full harvest should be completed just before the plants start to flower. Cut the entire plant 4-6″ above the ground to promote a second growth. Leaves are easily bruised when picking, so handle carefully