So you took the ‘basil’ challenge from last week and planted basil in your garden, and now you need to know how to cut and harvest it.

Basil is one of those plants that loves to be cut. Wherever you cut the basil, it will bush up, branch out and make more basil. Us gardener types love this kind of plant. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving.

Basil should usually be cut before it flowers, well how do you know where a flower is fixing to sprout out? Observe picture:

Basil, just about to flower
Basil, just about to flower

See the top of the basil where the leaves get tinier and tinier, that is where the flower is trying to form. 

Now you have a couple of options.

Option 1. Nip it in the bud.  If you do not have time or need for great quantities of basil at this moment, go ahead and pinch that bud off to the next set lower, of 4 large leaves. This will keep the basil from flowering

Option 2. Harvest time: This is how to harvest basil and plan for future harvests by making a healthy plant. Identify one of the lowest set of healthy leaves on the basil plant, Find that spot and pinch off the stem of the plant just above those leaves

Harvesting Basil
Harvesting Basil

Here is the spot on this particular branch.

Now see what it looks like: (yes I’m pointing to the spot with one of the just pinched off leaves)

Right after harvesting basil
Right after harvesting basil

SEE, There are tiny leaves that will form a whole new portion of basil plant. You did the plant a favor by taking such good care to cut or pinch it off at that spot!

After a while this is what will happen:

Basil re-growing from harvested spot
Basil re-growing from harvested spot

The basil plant will grow new ‘tops’  on the side shoots.

It may even sprout a new shot right from the cut spot in the middle:

New basil growing from the harvested 'cut' spot
New basil growing from the harvested ‘cut’ spot

 

Finally, you have  a well groomed hedge of basil ready to give you an excellent harvest all summer long 🙂

I hope you like my basil post.  Please visit my other ‘art’ at my handmade jewelry webstore. I hope you love that too 🙂 https://www.etsy.com/shop/goodnessinthecosmos

Perfectly trimmed basil
Perfectly trimmed basil
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