Growing Herbs In Texas: Planting Specialty Basils

| 7/27/2010 2:32:14 PM

c.meredith2Cynthia Meredith has been gardening with herbs, reading about herbs, and discussing herb gardening in Texas for more than 20 years. She has owned The Herb Cottage ( for over 10 years, selling herb plants to people all over our state. 

It's full summer here in Texas. The afternoon temperatures regularly hit the mid to upper 90s with the heat index, or "feel like" temperature, anywhere around 105 to 108 degrees. In other words, it's hot!! I usually finish my gardening in the early morning, if at all. I still have beds that were overtaken by weeds due to the spring and, more recent, rains. I'm getting them cleared out little by little. I'd like to have fall flowers, which means that I have to clear the beds out now for that to happen.

In the herb garden, though, I did get my parsley and soapwort cleared out so that I could plant my specialty basil plants. The bed looks so nice now, all newly planted and mulched.

27 July Prep for Herb Bed
Preparation for the new herb bed.

27 July Plants laid out
All the plants laid out.

27 July Planted and Water
Plant and water!
Photos by Cynthia Meredith

Some of the basils I planted are different varieties of African and Indian basil. I also planted a Serrata basil, which is a sweet basil with serrated edges on the leaves. It has a traditional sweet basil flavor.

The African types are called Ocimum canum 'Mtule', and lime-flavored 'Kivumbasi'.