Here is an awesome mixed-variety pack of certified organic basil seeds, or check out these 12 places to … While basil is endowed with many beneficial properties, another good part about the herb is that it can be easily grown at home, without much fuss and effort. Just like I said above, harvesting and pruning mean the same thing in the case of basil. If you want to pick entire branches of basil, then the right time would be just before the plant blooms. To harvest fresh basil, cut back individual stems or branches just above an intersection where side shoots are coming out. Now, you not only know when to harvest basil but also how to do it and how to preserve it.If you have any questions, or if you want to share your experiences with us, just leave a comment below. Collect the seeds from your best plants to plant next spring. A common, and my favorite, method to preserve basil is freezing it. Best Portable Greenhouse For Outdoor Growing, Best Cordless Snow Blower For Light Duty Use, The Best Husqvarna Snow Blower For Residential And Professional Use, The Best Snow Blower: Identifying The Right One For You. You can even hang bunches of stems to air dry, in a warm room. You can also use a knife or scissor for the purpose. Privacy Policy | By plucking the flowers you are keeping the herb in a prepubescent state, which will taste a lot better, and less bitter, than “older” basil: You can eat basil flowers too, but sometimes they’re bitter, so give them a nibble first. There comes a time late in the season when flowering is imminent and leaf production simply stops. Hang them in a place with good air circulation, out of direct sunlight. Best to spray them down with water to knock bugs off and try a diluted solution of soapy water to kill what’s left. At a time, you can pick as much as half of the leaves on a basil plant, as long as you fertilize it immediately afterwards. You may unsubscribe at any time. Although many gardening experts claim that basil can be harvested as soon as the plant reaches about 12 inches in height, many inexpert cultivators, such as I … Basil is a culinary herb, which finds great use in Southeast Asian as well as Italian cuisines. At some point you will be harvesting far more fresh basil than you can use. You can use the basil leaves in dry or fresh form and they can be chopped and kept in a damp paper towel for long use in refrigerator. Therefore, let’s see how to preserve excess basil. The best time, in the day, for picking basil is the morning, after the dew has dried. For gardeners, it is important to note that basil is a warm weather annual plant. Annual plants grow from seeds each spring. They complete their life cycle by flowering and producing seeds before the first frost in fall. They produce an abundance of leaves for your favorite recipes. The procedure is simple, put the leaves in a freezer bag and store it in the freezer. This is one of the questions that tormented me when I first started to grow basil. Nevertheless, as basil is a plant that grows pretty fast, I believe that it is better to wait for the plant to develop a little before passing to harvesting. The plant features narrow, elongated leaves and lemon-scented white flowers. Use these mature fresh leaves for pesto or at the final stage of cooking sauces, soups, and curries. If you grow herbs, basil is probably among them, so you should know the best way to prune and harvest basil so you get the most out of your plant.. By pruning basil consistently throughout the growing season, gardeners can effectively delay the flowering phase. Manage Cookies. Later, simply clip the stems at the first or second branch intersection below the tips of the branches. The Correct Way to Pick Basil Leaves. We do this every few days to keep the basil from flowering and keep producing leaves. Because many supermarkets sell dried basil, many cultivators believe that drying basil leaves could be a good preservation method. The more often you pick the leaves of basil, the more and the better will the plant grow. This will determine the plant to grow two new stalks from the cutting point. To freeze the leaves, coarse-grind them in a food processor with a drizzle of olive oil. Beginning at the budded tips, cut stems back to the third or fourth set of side shoots. You can pick individual leaves of basil whenever you want to use them, throughout the growing season. Plus, I share my best herb-growing tips. Gradually begin to remove 10 to 15 percent of the total foliage each time you harvest. Italian basil tends to be short lived, so bringing it inside will give you a few more weeks or months until you’ll need to reseed. Do this all summer and you will have huge plants (ours were about 4’ tall last year). Crush the dried basil and store it in a glass jar. There are other preservation methods that will allow you to preserve the flavor of your crop and really enjoy that crisp taste. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If left to develop, the flowers will transform into seeds and the basil plant will die soon after. All featured products are curated independently by our editors. They lend their signature flavors to foods from Southern Europe to Southeast Asia and beyond. Basil is one of the most popular herbs for gardeners and cooks alike. But even if basil is one of those herbs that everybody grows in a pot, it seems that many cultivators are confused when it comes to harvesting. Allow me to disagree… dried basil has absolutely no flavor and it is pretty much useless.