days to maturity: 60 days
plant spacing: 1-3 plants per square foot
sunlight requirements: 6-14 hours
look out for: basil leaf miner
harvest notes: harvest whole branches 6” down
This is a basil variety with a unique heirloom story behind it. Richo Cech, owner of Strictly Medicinal Seed found this basil growing on the north end of Pemba Island in the Zanzibar Archipelago, off the coast of Tanzania, in 1990. He found the woman who was growing the crop, and she asked him to return the next day to receive a gift of seeds. When he did so, she handed him a triangular packet of seed, folded from newspaper. She called it “Mrihani.” Recently, seed breeders from Rutgers university crossed this basils incredibly hearty genetics with more popular Genovese Italian basil to make a more disease and fungus resistant sweet basil. This is by far the heartiest basil we have ever come across! Sniff or taste a leaf if you’re curious, as the fragrance of this basil is completely different from Italian, Thai, or Sacred basils, having a sweet perfume and licorice quality. “Basil leaf miner” is the second most prevalent pest amongst basil plants. It makes a black splotch with a white and brown ring around it in each leaf of the plant. This is caused by a fly landing on your leaf and laying its egg in-between the membranes of the leaf. Unfortunately no amount of spraying of organic pesticides will treat this problem, as the bug is long gone by the time you see the damage. Pluck off and throw away damaged leaves to try and minimize the population of flies in your garden. If you have basil leaf miner in the garden this may be the only basil you’ll be able to grow, as they don’t like it.