Basil is one of the most popular aromatic herbs . The basil plant is a plant used in a large number of recipes in addition to being pretty once it flowers.
Things to know about basil:
Starting by pruning your basil plants regularly will strengthen it and also make it healthier. To preserve basil leaves, you can opt for two different techniques depending on your needs for cooking, drying or freezing . Also note that it is always recommended whenever possible to harvest your basil leaves according to your needs to retain maximum flavor for your cooking.
If you grow basil outdoors , you can harvest your basil leaves throughout the spring and summer . Naturally, this does not apply if you are growing your basil indoors where you can harvest the basil leaves at any time of the year. For the most important leaves, prefer to cut the complete stem directly to promote the birth of new shoots.
You can harvest basil leaves at any time of the day, but harvesting them before lunch keeps the plant fresh.
Steps for picking potted basil leaves:
- Make sure your basil plant is 6 to 8 inches tall before you want to harvest the leaves.
- When the plant has reached this size, you can start picking the leaves . You can use a tape measure or a ruler to observe the growth of the plant. When the highest point of the plant reaches 15 cm, then you can start harvesting the basil leaves. The plant should not be allowed to exceed 20 cm before pruning it.
- Pick basil leaves in small quantities when you need them for your cooking, once the plant reaches a reasonable size. Pick a few leaves from different parts of the plant without cutting a stem . This harvest encourages the plant to produce more leaves.
- Prefer to harvest the basil leaves that are at the top of the plant to allow it to produce more and be denser. By picking the leaves from below, the plant may grow long and thin, in addition to being less productive and healthy.
- Pluck the basil leaves from the stem. Work carefully to avoid tearing or damaging the stem to which the basil leaf is attached. Pick the leaves at their base, closest to the stem.
- To harvest the leaves, simply pull gently on the leaf to detach it from the plant. You can also cut the leaves with small scissors , always being careful not to damage the stem.
How to pick basil stems and prune the plant?
- When pruning the plant, you should prune it from the top down . Cutting the stems from the top of the plant downward allows for more of the plant to be removed. The method therefore consists of starting from the thickest part at the top of the plant and leaving the emerging leaves below so as not to interrupt their growth. For this harvest, do not cut more than a third of the total height of the plant. Use small scissors to easily cut the stems without damaging them. Harvest basil when the plant begins to flower to promote regrowth.
- To cut whole stems from the basil plant, aim just above the node as close as possible (about 1cm maximum). Cutting the stem as close as possible to the node prevents the plant from redirecting its nutrients to this part and concentrating them on the small leaves. This maximizes the overall growth of the plant. The nodes are the points on the plant from which the side shoots emerge. By cutting just above it, the plant will divide and become denser as it grows.
- Break off the ends of the branches and side shoots. Think about it when you water your plant or pick the leaves, take a moment to examine your basil. Use your fingers to snip off the tips of the side shoots and branches . This will promote healthy growth and allow your plant to get fuller.
- Remove the buds before they hatch. If you want your basil to continue growing, you will need to prevent its buds from opening. Once the plant flowers, it will no longer produce leaves. Remove any buds you see on the plant before they have a chance to open. If you've picked enough basil leaves and don't want to continue growing your plant, let it bloom and enjoy those pretty flowers. Basil flowers are edible , but their flavor is stronger than that of basil leaves and their pods are thick and rough.
Harvest whole plants outdoors. If you're growing a large number of basil plants outdoors and want to cut the whole plants back, cut them about 3 inches above the ground . Using pruners, cut the main stem of the plant. Then shake the plant to get rid of dust and insects.
The benefits of a good cut of basil
When you decide to grow in pots, cutting and pruning your aromatic herbs are very important actions to take. Indeed, this makes it possible to optimize and improve the culture conditions. These samples make it possible to strip the aromatic plants and “clean” them, which encourages the regrowth of basil leaves and increases their production. Thus, pruning and cutting the basil are important because they help promote the development of new leaves and stimulate the stems. These actions, however simple, are of great help and they often make it possible to save the potted basil when it is in bad shape. A pot of basil provides even more leaves and therefore more harvests when it is dense and abundant .
Enabling you to benefit from a healthy and resistant Basil plant is precisely the ambition of URBAN CUISINE. This is why we have developed a Cork Pot specially designed to meet the constraints that can be encountered when growing in pots and indoors.
The Organic Basil Cork Pot is made in France from cork oak . Thanks to this pot, you can grow an organic Grand Vert Basil plant, without soil or a bag of potting soil with reproducible seeds, labeled "Organic Agriculture” and of French origin. This Pot is made of cork, a durable, waterproof and waterproof, which will provide the best possible protection for your Basil plant.You will be able to carry out all the actions necessary for cutting easily and therefore enjoy Basil leaves as numerous as they are tasty!