Aug 7, 2013

How to Harvest Basil

This one's going to flower soon.  Harvest before it flowers.
via stacy reynaud

Our basil is out of control. To think I never wanted to plant any because I thought I'd end up eating it all in one shot. To get the most out of your basil harvest, here's what to do.

It's best to harvest before the herb flowers as this is when it contains those delicious fragrant oils. Who doesn't love the smell of fresh basil?

1. Start from the bottom of the plant and count up four sets of leaves. When you reach four, snip off the top two. If your plant already has more than four, then pinch off 33% of it. Snip or pinch right above the little leaves that are growing opposite each other. This tells the little guys to keep growing.

2. Once each new branch develops four sets of alternating leaves, pinch them off.  Keep up with this routine until the plant is about a foot tall. By then you'll have a nice bushy plant keen to supply you with enough basil gimlet goodness all summer.

3. To keep your basil through winter, dry it either in a food dehydrator (we have the Nesco Gardenmaster) or air-hang dry it (not in direct sunlight) and put it in an airtight mason jar.

Now, onto our Lemon Verbena plant!

For more in-depth info, check out the post on Vegetarian Times.

The Wind