Basil can be planted outdoors after the danger of frost has passed.
• Choose a sunny location (6+ hours of sun) and dig a hole about two times as wide as your pot.
• Remove your plant from the pot by loosening the soil and tipping it out into your hand. Place your plant in the soil about as deep as it was in the pot.
• Refill the space around your plant with soil and press lightly to compact the dirt, keeping your plant firmly in the ground.
• Water immediately to settle the soil, and add more soil as needed, bringing it level to the rest of your garden.
Water as needed all season to keep soil evenly moist, keeping your eye out for the first sign of wilt. Wilting is a sure sign that your basil needs water. Feed with a vegetable fertilizer to ensure your bountiful harvest.
When harvesting basil, cut it back to about 1/4 inch above a node, which is where the branch meets the main stem. Be sure to leave enough foliage on your plant so it can continue to grow.
Fresh is usually best: Store basil fresh for a week or less by wrapping several leaves in a paper towel inside an airtight bag. Sections of stems can also be stored for a few days in a glass of water on the kitchen counter. For longer storage, dry whole basil leaves by hanging them in bundles. Store dried basil in closed jars in a cool, dry space. Another method is to chop fresh basil and place in icecube trays. Fill the tray with olive oil and freeze. These can be added to soups and sauces when flavor is needed.