I've grown basil for a long time, but never have been fully pleased with the results. Sometimes the plants would become large and woody, developing stronger flavors than were pleasing. Plants in containers always did better, probably because they remained well-watered.
But, clearly, I needed to cut it back more severely, too (a recent article in Organic Gardening suggested cutting at 6 nodes down to keep flowering in check -- wow -- it really worked).
An accidental experiment sowing a flat of older seeds has also been wildly successful,.
Germination was unexpectedly high, and after transplanting as many as I could manage, I just started harvesting the basil like mesclun mix. Fabulous! The leaves are tender and delicious, and as I cut, growth just continues. I'm definitely going to continue doing summer plantings in flats on a regular basis.