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Basil is a wonderful plant to plant near your kitchen windows or doorways, not just for its use in your favorite dishes, but because this culinary herb has terrific natural pest repellent properties! Said to effectively keep house flies and mosquitoes away, planting Basil near entryways to your home, rubbing it on your skin and clothing, and planting it around your yard and patio will help reduce the amount of unwanted summer pests. Planting it in your garden will also keep destructive pests like Thrips, white flies, and aphids away from neighboring plants. Basil blooms are also very attractive to butterflies and other useful pollinators.
Basil is said to increase the health and flavor of many vegetables like asparagus, bell peppers, cabbage and especially tomato plants when companion planted together. For best results, do not plant Sage or Rue near your Basil, as this is said to inhibit the plant's growth and flavor. Instead, grow Chamomile near your Basil plants to encourage its success.
Basils do best with a good pinch! You can harvest a leaf hear and there, even when the plants are young. As they grow, you can take more ~ remember that the more you pick, the more the plant will grow. If you are harvesting, DO NOT allow the plant to 'go to seed' as once flowering begins, leaf productions stops. You can easy avoid this by removing the flower stalks as soon as they appear.