Posted by Jessie Jacobson on May 16th 2022

Basil Varieties Available at Tonkadale this Spring

Basil is the very best. Plant in full sun after the danger of frost has passed. Easy to grow in gardens, raised beds, or containers. Make sure to amend gardens and raised beds with compost such as Purple Cow's Activated Compost. When planting in containers or raised beds, we recommend our organic house blend of potting soil - Tonka Terra. Adding Worm Castings or Garden Tone is a great way to give peppers the nutritional jump start they need. Plant peppers 12-18" apart in the ground/raised bed or in a 12"-14" container. Harvest leaves throughout the season to prevent flowering which leads to bitter basil. DO consider letting some plants form flowers so that you can share the forage with our pollinator friends.

Let's take a look at how to grow these amazing selections!

African Blue

Purple-veined leaves produce a strong, earthy flavor and a sweet camphor scent. Flowers are a pollinator favorite and very decorative. Does not need pinching to continuously grow. Sterile flowers do not produce seed.

African Nunum

Gigantic leaves, popular in Asian and African cuisines. Rich basil flavor with a touch of oregano. Also used for its antibacterial properties. Thrives in heat.

Crimson King

A Genovese type basil with large leaves; dark-purple to black in color. Adds a bold splash of color to the garden. Some notice a distinct anise type flavor that is slightly spicy.


Your go to basil for summer! Its leaf shape and open habit make this variety more resistant to downy mildew. Leaves slightly serrated and narrower than traditional Genovese types. Pinch and use often to encourage vegetative growth.

Holy Basil

Known as Ayurveda or Tulsi. Narrow leaves and purple stems are distinguished by a clove-like aroma and frost-tolerance. A bee magnet if allowed to flower and will reseed.


Long, lime-green elliptical leaves with a strong, lemony scent and flavor. White flowers if allowed to bloom. Pinch to keep compact and producing succulent leaves. An excellent source of beta-carotene and vitamin K. Sweet lemon fragrance will fade if chilled. Add to dishes at the end of cooking.

Lettuce Leaf

Basil lovers, this one's for you! An extremely productive sweet basil boasting giant leaves. More sweet than spicy. Highly aromatic. Pinch to keep compact and producing succulent leaves. Slow to bolt.

Pesto Perpetuo

Leaves in perpetuity meaning you never have to beat flowers to harvest! This green and white variegated variety can be harvested all summer long. Traditional basil flavor with a hint of lemon. Pinch to encourage bushiness.

Spicy Globe

Mounded habit and dainty leaves packed with flavor. Begin light harvest once plant becomes established. A full harvest should be completed just before flowering. Leaves are easily bruised when picking.


This variety holds its flavor and texture better than other basils. Dark purple flowers and intoxicating scent make this a beautiful addition for any garden. Great for containers too! Pinch to keep compact. Harvest up to 1/3 of the plant at a time before flowering.

Tri Basil

Three basil varieties in one pot! Sweet basil, amethyst, and lettuce leaf all combined in case you can't choose just one. A lovely mix of flavors for all your basil needs.