Growing Basil to make Fresh Pesto!

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One of my favorite parts of summer is cooking from my garden! I love to grow tomatoes, peppers, herbs, pumpkins, squash, melons, and so much more!

One of my favorite herbs is basil, I love it!

For the longest time I could not get basil to grow for me. With one small trick you can make your basil crop go crazy all summer long. Here it is: when you see flowers (like in the picture above) you have let it go to far. You do not want it to flower. You need to cut it back so that it can get nice and bushy. You want to cut it below the flowers right above new growth.

Even if you don’t use it, just cut it off and throw it away. Your basil will double in size. Keep cutting it back and it will continue to thrive.

I love to use my Gilmour Flexogen hose in my garden. The Flexogen’s lightweight build and layer of oxygen-infused foam make it super. That means it can follow you around and get to all the different parts of your garden and it effortlessly coils for storage – all while maintaining Flexogen’s signature durability. Gilmour’s Flexogen hose is proudly made in the USA and backed by a lifetime warranty – score! I also use the Gilmour Watering Stainless Steel Sprayer gives the perfect spray and it holds up well with weathering if left outside! I used the garden setting which is the perfect for pressure on delicate plants and herbs.

Now for the best part – Pesto!

Here is my recipe:

2 cups packed basil leaves, clean and dry

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts

Shredded Parmesan Cheese

2-3 Tbsp butter

Combine the basil, garlic, and nuts in food processor. Add the oil and pulse it until smooth, I have a son with a nut allergy so I actually leave the nuts out and just add them to the top of the pasta for those of us that can have them.

If you want to use it immediately add 2-3 Tbsp of butter in a small frying pan with a clove of minced garlic. Add pesto and saute for a couple of minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss pesto with pasta and cheese.

If you will be freezing the Pesto put it straight into airtight containers and freeze. I like to use the small 2 oz condiment containers.

When you are ready to make it, thaw it out and cook like above.

As an additional note I found the secret to growing cilantro is to plant it every three weeks. I feel it doesn’t thrive for me even when I cut it back. So I just plant a new row every three weeks so that I have continuous cilantro,

Happy Growing this summer!

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Lisa

Previous author of Over the Big Moon. I shared my passion for home and family life! I love graphic design, DIY projects, cooking, and working in my garden! My favorite role is taking care of my husband and our 3 amazing and busy boys!

Comments (8)

  • my basil plants kept dying on me Attack by insects… Twice my healthy pot died on me .. Any idea how can I keep those insects away? I am leaving in a warm country

  • This is amazing and I am so jealous! I really want to plant an herb garden once we get a house. I’m afraid it might be too much maintenance though. What are your thoughts? The meal you made looks fantastic! Love pesto and basil!

    • No way! It is so easy. As long as you pay attention when the basil is 4-5 inch tall and cut it back then so it gets bushy you will be fine. Inevitably at the end of the summer I let mine go to flowers but that just means it reseeds itself for the next year. Herbs are so forgiving and come back each year. You will love it!

  • Aliza Hale Biorn

    I love fresh basil, but haven’t been successful with growing it in my garden….mostly because I let it go too long. Thanks for the great tips!

  • I started an herb garden this year and planted lots of basil. It too is my favorite herb. I plan to freeze pesto and also freeze some fresh leaves in some olive oil for future use. Thanks for your post!

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