The best time to harvest most herbs (including basil) is in the morning. Method 1of 3:Harvesting Basil Leaves. How To Dry and Grind Fresh Herbs in 4 Easy Steps | Grass Fed Girl. No need to despair. Mmm, basil. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an aromatic herb native to tropical Asia and commonly used in Italian, Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine. It is best to pick basil leaves just before you plan to use them because this results in the most flavorful and tender leaves. There's no better way to add flavor to summer dishes than with a bit of this fresh herb. How to harvest basil leaves and branches. Store the cubes in zip-close freezer bags for use in soups, stews, sauces or pesto. You can harvest basil leaves as soon as they appear on the plant. You will notice that, in the case of a healthy plant, you will be able to harvest new basil leaves (and prune the plant) once a week. 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. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Harvest leaves a few at a time at first. Plant your basil in a plastic or enameled pot that is at least 16 inches in diameter. When harvesting more copious amounts of basil, harvest from the top of the plant downward. How to transplant Basil? Black seeds are ready to be picked while green seeds are still ripening. Basil. After the plants have produced their first 6 sets of true leaves (about 6-8″ in height), cut them off at an angle just above the second set of leaves. In a few weeks, your basil plants will be ready to harvest again. It’s normal to cut one-third of the plant down as you harvest. Whether you direct-sow basil or start the seed indoors about six weeks before the last expected spring frost, it can take 50 to 75 days before basil is harvest-ready. I mean yes, you could just pull away any leaves from the plant, but that would do nothing but decrease your basil production. How To Dry Rosemary How To Dry Basil Herbal Remedies Natural Remedies Bouquet Garni Spices And Herbs Der Arm Dehydrated Food Growing Herbs. Begin harvesting basil shortly after the seed sprouts and the second set of leaves appear. Cutting back entire stems will result in a … This will determine the plant to grow two new stalks from the cutting point. Harvesting basil can be done in three (3) different ways for the best results. The small, young plants you usually get at the nursery are usually ready almost immediately for some plucking. Step 1: Allow your basil to flower and go to seed . If you look closely at the basil flower stems after the petals have fallen off you can identify the seeds beginning to develop. How do you harvest basil without killing the plant? If you add the month that it took the plant to get ready for harvest, you get the total number of 7 months, which is almost twice as long as the manufacturer claims. If taking an entire branch, snip it just above a leaf pair, which encourages new growth. Place your potted basil in a window that gets at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight through it a day. Once the new stalks developed several sets of leaves, you should repeat the same operation for each basil stalk. Final Harvest: At the end of the season (before the first frost), cut the stems to the ground and pick off all the leaves. Be careful as you pluck off seeds. The proper time to harvest sweet basil leaves is in the morning—after the dew has evaporated and dried. If left to develop, the flowers will transform into seeds and the basil plant will die soon after. Harvest leaves once the plant is 6 inches (15 cm) to 8 inches (20 cm) tall. If you grow your basil from seed, you can expect it to be about 60 days before your basil is ready to harvest. Here’s a good tutorial if you’re interested. Missouri Botanical Garden: Ocimum basilicum. 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. Feed your basil every four to six weeks with a liquid fertilizer diluted to half the label's recommended strength. At the first prediction of the first frost in fall, even a mild one, go ahead and harvest all of the remaining basil leaves. When to Pick Basil. Cut off the brown and spent flower heads and let them dry for a few days in a warm, dry location. If you purchase a large live basil plant, you’ll be ready to harvest very soon after repotting. How to Harvest Basil. If planting outdoors, sow your basil seeds in late spring in soil that has been amended with 2 to 4 inches of compost and receives six to eight hours of full sun a day. When: Harvest basil right before the plants start to bud and the flowers start to bloom (also known as “bolting”). That way, your basil will have a chance to soak up all that delicious water and your leaves will last longer after you harvest. Basil How do I know BASIL is ready to harvest? The most time I’ve harvested a basil plant for was about 6 months. Sweet basil lovers should also have a garden of the herb and know how to harvest sweet basil leaves, among other things. With time I understood that, in fact, basil can be harvested as soon as the plant is about 12 inches tall in all safety, and that harvesting… or pruning which in the case of aromatic herbs is the same thing is essential to ensure a healthy development of the plant. Cut back whole stem for use in larger harvests. When the tallest part of the plant reaches 6 … Harvest at the End of the Grow Season You can harvest basil leaves as soon as they appear on the plant. They are about 4" tall currently. Thereafter, harvest basil as often as needed. On the other hand, if you focus on growing the plant, stimulating it to develop new stalks, you will notice how your basil production will increase constantly. Are your onions ready to harvest? 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. I picked a green part from the plant as an example to show you. You’ll want to pick that cluster off as soon as possible. Freezing is one of the major methods used for storing the basil. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Unlike most herbs, which flower, turn brown and are then ready to harvest the seeds, basil can produce ripe seeds right alongside developing seeds. We start our basil from small seedlings; we rarely start it from seed. After harvesting basil, it can be dried, frozen or eaten fresh. A common, and my favorite, method to preserve basil is freezing it. From then until the first flower buds form it will grow lush, tender foliage. Cover your seeds with 1/4 inch of soil and keep them moist until germination occurs in about five to seven days. This will promote new growth and encourage more of a bush-like appearance. The more harvests done, the better it is for the growth of the sweet basil herb. The optimum time for harvesting basil leaves is when they're a medium size (very large leaves might have lost their flavor already) and the plant is at least 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 centimeters) tall [source: Seeley ]. Use a fine colander for basil seed collecting, as the black seeds are very tiny. In addition to harvesting leaves, prune your basil plant periodically by snipping back the tops of stems to prevent your basil from flowering. Each stem should have around 8 pairs of good-sized leaves. This is one of the questions that tormented me when I first started to grow basil. 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 once was, will fear of not damaging a too young plant. 3. Harvesting basil from the top of each stem will ensure that it can regrow after harvesting. Basil, royal herb, St. Joseph’s Wort, Thai basil, Genovese basil, Greek basil, Italian basil, Holy basil, and a wide range of variety names: Scientific Name: Ocimum basilicum: Germination Time: 8-14 days depending on variety: Days to Harvest: Around 75 days depending on variety: Light: Full sun, 6-8 hours per day. If you’re wanting to harvest basil leaves, this isn’t a good sign. You have to understand that they are trying to promise less and deliver more. Take older leaves from the top of the plant first. Before You Harvest: Water your basil the night before you intend to harvest. In Italy, it was placed on a windowsill as a signal to one’s lover. Once established, give your basil 1 to 2 inches of water every seven to 10 days. Basil seed collecting is that simple. Apply a 5-10-5 fertilizer at a rate of 3 ounces for every 10 feet of soil once or twice during the growing season. If you want to take just a little bit of basil, harvest it by clipping, … Following these tips, you will soon be able to harvest more basil than the one you need for your recipes. To dry basil, remove the leaves from the stems. If the leaves are crunched easily they can be stored. Crunching the basil leaves is also a method to find out when is basil ready to harvest. Basil loves hot weather and can be damaged by frost, according to Fine Gardening. Wash the leaves in cold water, and dry them with paper towels. Continue to plant basil seeds in the garden every 2 to 3 weeks, for a continuous supply of fresh basil leaves. 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. To harvest a small amount of basil, just remove a few leaves for use. 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. Harvesting of basil can begin as soon as the plant has at least six sets of leaves. How Long Does It Take to Be Able to Harvest Basil? Be sure to cut or pinch right above a leaf pair rather than leaving a stub. Preparing basil oil or pesto are other alternative methods to preserve basil. In addition, you will be able to brag with a beautiful robust plant instead of having a “leggy” basil. Found in many a home garden, the fragrant herb basil flourishes in warm, sunny conditions with periodic watering. How to harvest butternut squash. If you want to keep your plant strong and healthy for a long time, you should also pay attention to remove all the flowers as soon as you notice them. Now, let’s see a few tips on how to harvest basil. You will be able to use the basil cubes whenever you need them. Allow me to disagree… dried basil has absolutely no flavor and it is pretty much useless. Just like I said above, harvesting and pruning mean the same thing in the case of basil. I don't know exactly how long they've been growing, but it's been at least since June. How Long Does it Take for Basil to Grow True Leaves? Simply snap a few off, or cut them using small scissors. Another method of freezing basil is by chopping the leaves, then place them in ice cube trays, add water or oil, and freeze them. To harvest basil in the right way, there is a technique you should follow. Harvest Thai Basil with the right technique, and it will grow back for continuous harvests. Basil is simple to grow in the home garden or in an indoor herb garden, thriving in sunny, moist conditions. Therefore, let’s see how to preserve excess basil. Put the puree into ice cube trays and freeze. This operation is essential for the health of the plant since it will allow the plant to grow stronger and increase its yield. This requires no effort, just continue to water it and be patient. Plants will be at least 10 inches tall How do I harvest BASIL? The basil leaves don’t need to ripe so many find it difficult to understand when to harvest basil without causing damage to the plant. When you water your basil plant, measure it with a tape measure or ruler to see how much it has grown. Because many supermarkets sell dried basil, many cultivators believe that drying basil leaves could be a good preservation method. Plants and fruit will both be harmed by a frost, and it’s better to have underripe squash than lose your crop! Some gardeners even claim that you don’t even have to wait until the plant reaches the above-mentioned height and that you can start harvesting as soon as the basil developed a few sets of leaves. Drizzle a little olive oil on the leaves and store them in the refrigerator. Basik grows in USDA hardiness zones 2 to 11, according to Missouri Botanical Garden. Here's an example of one that isn't ready. The seeds are contained in the spent flower head. This is among vital steps on how to harvest sweet basil to make sure the herb continuous to have productive leafing. It will grow back and be ready to harvest again in approximately 2-3 weeks. Later, simply clip the stems at the first or second branch intersection below … Start picking the leaves of basil as soon as the plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. Basil will be ready to pick and use around 8 weeks after planting the seeds. Chop fresh basil and add it to sauces, marinades or salads, or pair it with vegetables, meat or fish. If allowed to flower, basil becomes woody, produces fewer leaves and tastes bitter. Before you use any of it for your cooking, you need to know how to harvest basil first. I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to the site and hope that you can find what you’re looking for. How to Harvest Basil. The Best Way to Harvest Basil Tip #2: These pots hold moisture longer and lessen the number of waterings your basil needs. Harvesting basil, biting into tiny sun gold tomatoes, feeling my skin warm under the bright sun, drinking iced tea: these are the things I think of when I think of summer's bounty. After about one week, strip the dried leaves from the stems. It not only comes in many varieties and it is used in many dishes but it is also easy to grow both indoors or outdoors. You can also plant your basil indoors to extend its growing season. Harvest in the early morning, when leaves are at their juiciest. How to Harvest Basil. Some seeds might be ready to harvest an entire three weeks earlier than others, even if the seeds are on the same plant. There are other preservation methods that will allow you to preserve the flavor of your crop and really enjoy that crisp taste. Pick basil in the morning when the essential oils are at their peak freshness. As soon as your basil plant is 6 to 8 inches tall, you can start harvesting leaves. This will help you to get the well-preserved basil once it is dry. To dry them, hang leaf-bearing stems upside down in a cool, dry area with good airflow. How to Harvest Basil By Catherine M. Albano, eHow Contributor . For the usual, you can also use the pruning system. Crush the heads over the colander and pick out the old petals and any chaff. Once temperatures hit 80°F (27°C), basil will really start leafing out. According to folklore, basil was used in love spells, provided good luck and protected against evil. This is one of the questions that tormented me when I first started to grow basil. Now that you know when to harvest … To do this, when harvesting, you should cut the stalk of the plant at the height of the second set of leaves. BUT, if you want to let your basil set seeds for next season’s planting, leave the plant alone to do its thing. 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. Don’t worry when you see how much of the plant you’ve cut off. Store dried basil (either whole or ground) in a plastic container with a tight lid in a cool, dark place for up to one year. Next to cilantro, basil … How To Harvest Basil Seeds. 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. Freeze basil for later use by pureeing the leaves in a blender, adding water as needed, until a thick paste is formed. 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