Details: Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an annual herb prized for the rich, spicy flavor of its foliage, which is used in Italian, Thai, Mediterranean and other cuisines. Some cultivars are also enjoyed as ornamentals, in teas and for their fragrance in potpourris or bouquets. Germination guide: 1 Fill a flat or other shallow container that has ample drainage holes with a well-drained medium that has low fertility, such as a mixture of peat moss and sand, perlite or vermiculite. 2 Sprinkle the basil seeds over the surface of the medium, spacing them about 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch apart. 3 Cover the seeds with about 1/8 inch of the germinating medium. 4 Mist the seeds and medium gently but thoroughly with water. 5 Place the container with the seeds and medium atop heating coils or a heating mat, if available, in a spot that receives bright, indirect light and keep the seeds and medium at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature for basil germination, although the basil seeds will germinate well as long as temperatures remain between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 6 Cover the container with a glass or plastic lid or enclose it in a plastic bag, if possible, to maintain a high level of humidity around the seeds and minimize the need for misting. 7 Mist the surface of the germinating medium with water as needed to keep the surface of the medium evenly moist but not wet. 8 Remove the lid or covering once the seeds germinate and allow the surface of the medium to dry slightly between mistings. Keep the temperature at or just above 70 degrees Fahrenheit to encourage growth. 9 Thin the basil plants once they emerge so that the seedlings are 3 to 4 inches apart, and transplant the basil plants to their permanent position once the plants each have two or three pairs of true leaves.