sweet basil - Knowledgebase Question

Dacula, Ge
Avatar for dianepinkard
Question by dianepinkard
June 2, 2010
I planted sweet basil this year for the first time. Now I do not know how to harvest it. Do I cut the leaves or pinch them off, also now it has flowers on it. Am I too late can I take the seeds and replant? Can I pinch the flower off? And exactly how do I cook with it crazy huh but I am used to dried herbs from a bottle! Thanks for your help

Answer from NGA
June 2, 2010
In order to keep your basil plant growing and producing, you'll want to cut off the leaves on a regular basis. The more you cut, the more leaves it will develop. If you cannot use all the fresh leaves you can lay them out on a paper towel to dry so you can store them in a bottle, or you can freeze the leaves. You should cut off the flowering stem as soon as you see one developing. If you allow the basil to flower and set seeds, the plant will die. You can harvest the seeds to replant now that your basil has already flowered but when those new plants come up, be sure to cut down any flowering stem they produce to increase the lifespan of the plants. Basil leaves can be added to cooked dishes just before serving. Enjoy your herbs!

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