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How to Harvest Basil Leaves

Harvest basil is super easy and doesn’t take much time at all. In this article, I’ll guide you on when and how to Harvest basil leaves for the best amount and tastiest flavor.

The best thing about Harvesting Basil is that it’s quick and easy. Also, because basil grows back after you cut it, the more you Harvest, the more it grows.

It’s so quick that you can just go out and grab some fresh basil from the garden whenever you need it for your cooking.

Continue reading to learn how to Harvest basil from your garden.

When to Harvest Basil? 

The perfect time to Harvest basil leaves is when the plant has plenty of leaves and has not started flowering yet. The taste doesn’t change even if you Harvest it after it has flowered.

But remember, the flowers take energy from the plant, so the plant won’t have as many leaves if allowed to flower.

Which part of basil do we Harvest? 

When you Harvest basil, you’re usually after the leaves. You can also use the tender young stems on the top of the plant. The older part of the stem at the bottom is too hard and not nice to eat.

Remember that basil often has mildew issues, so always pick the healthiest and freshest leaves. Look at each one and throw away any turning yellow or brown.

How to Harvest Basil?

To pick basil leaves, just pinch off each one, or use a sharp pair of small pruners to cut them off. You can also cut whole stems and take the whole bunch inside.

As you pick them, drop them into a basket or bowl. Make sure they stay out of direct sunlight so they don’t droop.

You can also pinch or cut the young new tips on your basil plant to make it branch out, which means even bigger Harvesting! This also makes your plant live longer.

Related Post: How to Propagate Basil

How often can you Harvest basil? 

Basil is a plant that you can harvest from many times, all summer. The more you pick the leaves, the more the plant will grow.

For the largest harvests possible, pick the leaves or remove the flowers and young tips as much as possible.

How to harvest basil without killing the plant?

To make sure your basil plant keeps growing well, there are some things you should do when you pick the basil. 

This means picking it the right way, at the right time, and not picking too much at once.

How to harvest Basil so it continues to grow?

When you trim the basil, cutting it in a certain way will help new leaves grow and make the plant more bushy. Here’s how to do it:

  • Always start picking from the top of the stem and leave at least a pair of leaves at the bottom of the stem.
  • Try to cut just above where a pair of leaves grow from the stem. Don’t leave a bare part of the stem at the top. This will help the stem to split into two at the spot where you cut it, which will make the plant bushier.
  • A good thing about picking the tops of the stems often is that it stops the basil plant from making flowers. Once the plant starts to make flowers, it stops growing new leaves and doesn’t taste as good. So, picking often also helps the plant keep growing for a longer time.

Related Post: How to Grow Basil from Seed

Tips for Storing Basil

Before you keep your basil, you need to clean it well. Wash the leaves with cold water and carefully dry them with a paper towel or a clean dish towel. Be careful not to squish the leaves.

Keep fresh basil: 

You can keep fresh basil leaves in the fridge for up to a month. After that, you can put them in water or between two wet paper towels. Change the water when needed.

Dry out basil: 

To dry basil, first wash the leaves to remove any dirt, then pat them dry. Arrange them between two sheets of parchment paper and leave them in a spot that is warm and dry until they’re thoroughly dry. Afterwards, store them in a sealed container in a cool area.

Freeze basil: 

If you wish to preserve your basil for an extended period, freezing is an excellent method. To do this, chop the basil leaves and place them in an ice cube tray. Next, pour water into the tray covering the leaves and put it in the freezer.

Related Post: How to Prune Basil

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