I was just thinking about the earlier post I made on Thinning Out Your Seedlings and I have another tip for growing basil for you. You could just let your basil plants grow into whatever form they take, or you could pinch out the growing tip when they’re about 15-20cm tall (6 to 8 inches).
Take a look at this photo:
See how I’ve pinched out the tip of the plant? The tip (about 4 good sized leaves went into my scrambled eggs – yum) has been removed a little above two new side shoots. This helps keep your plant nice and bushy, rather than letting it become sparce and leggy.
Another tip I want to share is that if you see your basil plants starting to flower (cute little white flowers) and you want to encourage your basil to last long into autumn – even winter in some climates – pinch out any flower spikes. Your plant will want to grow a bit more to send out more flowers, so it will last longer.
Of course, if you want to save your own seed for next spring, then allow some of the flowers to stay and let them go on to product seed. Harvest the seeds when they are dry, usually late autumn.
Happy Organic Gardening, Healthy Living…
Filed under: Herbs on April 15th, 2010