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How to Harvest Basil

Ratnashri Dutta Aug 20, 2019
Basil leaves can really be useful for cooking, medical purposes, as well as for warding off insects. Here are some tips which will help you harvest the basil in your garden.
The basil leaves or Ocimum basilicum, have been used by people for over hundred years. They are used in making stew, pasta, in seasoning and garnishing salads. Basil is used by some to ward off insects, and to get rid of indigestion. Here are steps to follow while harvesting this herb.

Harvesting Procedure

  • Harvest your plant after every 3 to 4 weeks, by cutting off growing tip of the plant.
  • Before you cut the tip, ensure the plant has 3 sets of leaves, and reached a height of one foot. It is best to wait for the plant to have around 4 to 6 leaves to start the harvesting.
  • Leave the smallest of the leaves on the top so that you can chop them off next harvest season.
  • If by chance you do not clip off the leaves on time, then they will turn yellow, lose their turgidity, and fall off by themselves.
  • If you are growing basil indoors, then you do not have to worry about their growth as they will grow throughout the year. But if you are growing it outdoors, then you have to dig the herb out of your garden and plant it indoors, in order to protect it from the first frost, and also to help them survive the winters.

When to Harvest

The best time to harvest basil is in the morning, just after morning dew, but before the temperature starts increasing. The night before you harvest this herb, water it well in order to get rid of all the collected dust particles. Morning is the time when the essential oils are at their best, hence this gives a strong flavor to the leaves of the basil.

Harvesting the Seeds

Important tip is to let the seeds remain on the plant and ripe there, to help them to reach full flavor. When the seeds are ready to pop out, bend the plant and put the seeds in a paper bag for growing basil plant. Follow these steps to grow strong and bushy plant.