How to Harvest Basil. If allowed to flower, basil becomes woody, produces fewer leaves and tastes bitter. They do not need to ripen or reach a certain size, but there should be enough leaves on the plant that taking a few doesn't strip it. To harvest a small amount of basil, just remove a few leaves for use. How to Harvest Basil. I’m Emily Steiner and I’m the head editor at ProperlyRooted. Basil loves hot weather and can be damaged by frost, according to Fine Gardening. Plants will be at least 10 inches tall How do I harvest BASIL? Here's an example of one that isn't ready. Before you use any of it for your cooking, you need to know how to harvest basil first. In Italy, it was placed on a windowsill as a signal to one’s lover. After harvesting basil, it can be dried, frozen or eaten fresh. Black seeds are ready to be picked while green seeds are still ripening. I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to the site and hope that you can find what you’re looking for. This operation is essential for the health of the plant since it will allow the plant to grow stronger and increase its yield. To harvest basil in the right way, there is a technique you should follow. Preparing basil oil or pesto are other alternative methods to preserve basil. Another method of freezing basil is by chopping the leaves, then place them in ice cube trays, add water or oil, and freeze them. (I'm not really a hobbyist gardner or anything, so I just tend to throw seeds in pots whenever I feel like doing so and seeing what happens). I have a pot with two or three basil plants. Therefore, let’s see how to preserve excess basil. Crush the heads over the colander and pick out the old petals and any chaff. Drizzle a little olive oil on the leaves and store them in the refrigerator. This is one of the questions that tormented me when I first started to grow basil. Just like I said above, harvesting and pruning mean the same thing in the case of basil. The most time I’ve harvested a basil plant for was about 6 months. You can also plant your basil indoors to extend its growing season. How to Get Rid of Ground Bees in 3 Easy Steps, Best Portable Greenhouse For Outdoor Growing, Best Cordless Snow Blower For Light Duty Use, The Best Husqvarna Snow Blower For Residential And Professional Use. When the tallest part of the plant reaches 6 … Next to cilantro, basil … Seeds may be started indoors, at a minimum of 6 weeks before the final frost date or planted directly in the soil 1 week before the final frost date. BUT, if you want to let your basil set seeds for next season’s planting, leave the plant alone to do its thing. Missouri Botanical Garden: Ocimum basilicum. Harvest at the End of the Grow Season Some seeds might be ready to harvest an entire three weeks earlier than others, even if the seeds are on the same plant. Feed your basil every four to six weeks with a liquid fertilizer diluted to half the label's recommended strength. Mmm, basil. Cover your seeds with 1/4 inch of soil and keep them moist until germination occurs in about five to seven days. Cut close to the tip to encourage the basil plant to fill out and grow bushy. How do you harvest basil without killing the plant? Step 1: Allow your basil to flower and go to seed . From then until the first flower buds form it will grow lush, tender foliage. Store the cubes in zip-close freezer bags for use in soups, stews, sauces or pesto. Following these tips, you will soon be able to harvest more basil than the one you need for your recipes. Picking them before the heat of the day will give you the juiciest leaves, but you can still pick them any time of day if you can’t get out in the morning. Once the new stalks developed several sets of leaves, you should repeat the same operation for each basil stalk. If left to develop, the flowers will transform into seeds and the basil plant will die soon after. There are other preservation methods that will allow you to preserve the flavor of your crop and really enjoy that crisp taste. Harvest leaves a few at a time at first. Basil How do I know BASIL is ready to harvest? Harvest Thai Basil with the right technique, and it will grow back for continuous harvests. If you grow your basil from seed, you can expect it to be about 60 days before your basil is ready to harvest. Simply snap a few off, or cut them using small scissors. This will promote new growth and encourage more of a bush-like appearance. Cutting back entire stems will result in a … If you look closely at the basil flower stems after the petals have fallen off you can identify the seeds beginning to develop. The green flower stalk will emerge, and you’ll soon see white flowers. How Long Does it Take for Basil to Grow True Leaves? Are your onions ready to harvest? Put the puree into ice cube trays and freeze. When to Pick Basil. 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