Feature Wednesday – Opal Basil

This week we are featuring Opal Basil. You maybe wondering why basil, clearly a Summer crop, is on our Fall list. Well the cool thing about Fall in our area is the overlap of produce. Some Summer crops hold up very nicely in the Fall. Some even preform better! While that is not the case here let me tell you why we love Opal Basil:

▪︎It’s purple – duh! You already know I love purple. As it has such a beautiful color it’s a great addition to your edible landscaping.

▪︎The aroma is outstanding! It is only the second most aromatic basil we have grown (second only to Blue Spice Basil). The farm smells great on a windy day!

▪︎ The flavor is a bit milder than most basil varieties. I like it best dehydrated for tea though it does make an interesting looking pesto.

▪︎The color becomes even more intense with cooler temperatures however during the Summer months you’ll note more green on the leaves.

▪︎Bees love it and we love the bees! On many mornings I’ve had to skip harvesting it and come after the bees had breakfast. They seem to enjoy these lavender flowers more than the white flowers on our other basil varieties more.

▪︎ On our farm it is also used in our flower bouquets adding to a visual beauty as well as magnificent aroma to the bouquet!

▪︎It can handle a light frost! No joke!!! For two years straight this has been my observation. We have had 2 light frosts on our farm & our Opal Basil has been unscathed!

Cons…

▪︎ It is more spotty with germination and seedlings can be challenging to keep alive.

▪︎Although it can handle some cold, the growth will stunt notably once temperatures are below 70° consistently.

▪︎It isn’t as quick to self seed as other basil varieties we grow. So will definitely require replanting yearly.

Okay fellow gardeners what do think about Opal Basil? Do you grow it? Will you next season? Let us know!