Approximately 600 seeds per gram
Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora
Siam Queen Thai basil comes from Southeast Asia. It is known as horapha in Thai, and húng quế in Vietnamese. It is an annual which produces lush dark green leaves with contrasting purple stems. It has a wonderful liquorice aroma that makes it popular in Thai (Horapha) and Vietnamese (Hung Que) cuisine. Highly regarded for its distinctive, spicy flavour. This vigorous, highly ornamental plant with purple stalks and pink flowers, provide a nice contrast to its dark green leaves. This variety is particularly productive in hot weather or in a greenhouse, and it performs well in containers. Pick young shoots regularly to extend the harvest
Basil loves warm soil and warm temperatures - it will languish if temperatures are below 15 C (60 F). Sow seed directly outdoors in a sunny site with average soil in late May to early June. Plant seed 4 mm (3/16") deep and 6 mm (1/4") apart. Thin to 20-25 cm (8-10") apart in the garden. Seed can also be started indoors in a soil-less mix 4-6 weeks before last frost date. Keep temperature at 21 C (70 F) for the 7-10 day germination period, then grow on at the same temperature before hardening off and transplanting outside after the danger of frost has passed. Basil is prone to damping off, so once seeds sprout, make sure they are adequately ventilated, and kept under bright lights. Thin to 20-25cm (8-10″) apart.
Soil Conditions: Well worked loose soil. Sow the seeds on the surface of dampened, sterilized seed starting mix under bright light with bottom heat. Keep watering to a minimum. Herbs grow best in well-drained fertile soils, so a garden bed that is well prepared with plenty of organic matter will increase your chances of success. Maintain a soil pH of 6.5. After seeding or transplanting, keep the soil moist and well weeded. When seedlings are large enough, harden them off and transplant to the garden or to containers spacing them at 20 cm (8”) apart.
Planting Depth: Plant seed 4 mm (3/16") deep and 6 mm (1/4") apart.
Water Requirements: Moderate – keep soil moist especially if planting in containers or pots.
Height at Maturity: 30-45 cm (12-18”) tall. Upright bush habit.
Days to Maturity: Pick when plant is able to support harvesting. (55-60 days)
Sun/Shade: Full Sun
Spacing after Thinning: 20 cm (8”)
Additional Information: Open pollinated - untreated seeds. Frequent harvesting will prolong the life of the plant. Basil leaves have the best flavour just before the plant flowers, and if you plan to preserve some of your basil or make a big batch of pesto, this is the best time to harvest. Flowering can be delayed by pinching or clipping off new flower buds. Tear basil rather than chop with a knife because when you chop you will notice the basil going dark. The oil stays in the leaf and does not properly flavour your food. Try to add just before serving so as to get the full aroma and effect. Cooking for any length tends to make the minty side of basil come to the forefront. Basil is best fresh, but can be preserved by drying or by freezing. To do this, tear the leaves into small pieces and freeze small batches of them, with water, in ice cube trays. Once frozen, the cubes can be saved in zip-lock type bags and labeled for later use. This will preserve the fresh flavour of basil for up to four months.