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The soil is first made soft by mechanical processing, then followed by natural disinfection with water steam, to reduce the presence of diseases and limit any use of chemical substances.
The nutrients necessary for the growth of the basil are then added, fertilizing with nitrogen and organic substance according to the real needs of the soil, always previously analysed. Sowing is then carried out by hand, without burying the seeds, at a density of about 10 g/m2.
PDO Genovese Basil prefers a temperature between 20 and 30 °C, suffering from stagnant humidity and in case the temperature drops below 16 – 18 °C.
For this reason, greenhouses must be equipped with heating systems with hot air generators for the winter and shading systems and insulation for the summer, with a ventilation system that ensures constant air exchange.
Irrigation is also a delicate and crucial practice, often done manually, which the farmer monitors with great attention.
The plant has an annual cycle, but the most valuable version is obtained by harvesting the basil during the first phase of development, when the seedlings have four to eight leaves, uprooting them from the ground one by one. The harvesting technique, which is exclusively manual, is particular, long and demanding, so as not to damage the very delicate leaves, to be carried out on special suspended wooden boards, where the operator reclines to reach the ground without stepping on it.
Each single plant is then uprooted from the ground with the whole root and arranged in a bouquet, with the root part complete with soil protected inside a small bundle of headed paper, which identifies its origin and quality. Each basil leaf of the bouquet has a medium-small size, with an oval and convex shape, of a pale green colour. This harvesting system allows the use of fresh basil up to five days after harvest.