Thursday, December 10, 2015

Harvesting basil

Basil is a prolific grower, so frequent harvests are necessary to keep the plants form going to seed.  Because the flavor of the leaves is diminished who the plant puts its energy into flowering, the emerging flower stalks should be pinch continually to encourage new growth and discourage.

Harvesting basil is a s simple as pinching. Don’t cut more than half the plant at once and always cut right above a leaf pair. It’s better to cut short stems off the whole plant than cut one or two long stems.

After 6 weeks, pinch off the center shoot to prevent early flowering. If flowers do grow, just cut them off. If the weather is going to be cold and frosted, remove the whole plant and pick it clean. Pick leaves as needed since they don’t store well, or in batches to preserve as pesto or in olive oil.
Harvesting basil

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