how to harvest basil without killing the plant

How to Harvest Basil

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How to harvest basil without killing the plant

Nothing beats fresh basil on pizza, spaghetti, or bruschetta cooked from scratch. Harvesting basil leaves isn’t only good for your dinner preparations; it’s also vital for keeping your basil plant robust and healthy. We’ll teach you how to harvest fresh basil quickly and easily, as well as how to preserve it so you can enjoy it for weeks or months.

Harvesting Basil Leaves

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When the plant reaches 6 inches (15 cm) to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, harvest the leaves

1. When the plant reaches 6 inches (15 cm) to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, harvest the leaves. To assess how much your basil plant has grown, use a tape measure or ruler to measure it when you water it. You may begin harvesting the leaves when the plant’s highest section reaches 6 inches (15 cm). Trim your plant if it grows to be more than 8 inches (20 cm) tall.

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Whenever you want, take little quantities of leaves

2. Whenever you want, take little quantities of leaves. You should be able to take off leaves anytime you want a fresh garnish after your basil plant has developed. Without cutting off any stems, remove a few leaves from each region of the plant. Even this modest picking will stimulate your basil plant to grow bigger and stronger.

  • Harvesting leaves from the top of the plant can encourage bushier, fuller growth. The plant will become lanky and thin if the bottom leaves are harvested, and it will be less healthy and productive.
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Remove basil leaves by pinching them at the stem

3. Remove basil leaves by pinching them at the stem. To prevent shredding basil leaves or harming the stems to which they are connected, select them gently. Pinch basil leaves where they meet the stem at the base. Pull the whole leaf away from the stem gently.

  • A little pair of scissors may also be used to cut leaves. Make sure not to cut the stem in the process.
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Harvesting Stems and Pruning the Plant

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To eliminate stems, trim the plant from the top down

1. To eliminate stems, trim the plant from the top down. Start at the top and work your way down to remove whole basil stems. This method of harvesting will take a larger portion of the plant, so start at the tallest, most full section of the plant and work your way down, allowing tiny shoots beneath to continue developing. Aim to remove at least one third of the plant’s overall height when harvesting on a wider scale every few weeks.

  • Use little scissors to easily remove stems.
  • When the basil plant begins to blossom, harvest it to stimulate fresh growth.
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Stems should be cut just above the leaf node

2. Stems should be cut just above the leaf node. Always cut as near to the top of the leaf node as possible when removing whole stems of basil from a plant. Cut the stems about.25 inches (0.64 cm) above the leaf nodes, which are the locations on the plant where side shoots originate. If you leave more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the leaf node, the plant will shift resources to this stub rather than smaller shoots that need them. The plant’s overall growth may be hampered as a result of this.

  • The plant will split in two when you cut just above the node, allowing it to continue growing in a bushier, fuller shape.
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Remove the tops of branches and side sprouts with a pinch

3. Remove the tops of branches and side sprouts with a pinch. Take a look at your plant when you’re watering it or pulling off leaves. Pinch the tops off of side shoots and branches with your fingers. This will encourage healthy development and enable your plant to reach its full potential.

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Flower buds should be trimmed before they bloom

4. Flower buds should be trimmed before they bloom. You must keep your basil plant from blossoming if you want to keep growing it. A basil plant will stop producing leaves after it has flowered. Trim any buds that appear on your plant before they have a chance to flower.

  • Allow your basil plant to blossom if you have picked enough basil leaves and are ready to let it go.
  • Basil blossoms have a stronger taste than basil leaves, and their seed pods are coarse and gritty.
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With a hand pruner, harvest full, outside plants.

5. With a hand pruner, harvest full, outside plants. If you’re harvesting the full crop of basil plants that you’ve grown outdoors, cut them approximately 3 inches (7.6 cm) above the ground. Cut through the whole base of the plant with a hand pruner. Make careful to shake the basil plants to get rid of any pests or dirt.

Storing Harvested Basil

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Fresh basil should be cleaned and stored

1. Fresh basil should be cleaned and stored. Examine the basil once you’ve collected it and remove any dead or yellow leaves you see. Remove any dirt or debris by thoroughly rinsing it. Allow it to air dry or use a paper towel to dry it. After that, place it in an airtight container, such as a ziplock bag or a plastic storage container.

  • The basil will keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator. Simply use the leaves or tear off portions as needed.
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The leaves should be blanched and frozen

2. The leaves should be blanched and frozen. Remove the basil leaves from their stems and blanch them for five to ten seconds in boiling water. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place them in a large mixing bowl filled with water and ice. Remove the leaves after a few minutes and spread them flat to dry on paper towels before putting them in the freezer.

  • Fill a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag with basil leaves.
  • Basil leaves may be frozen for up to three months.
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Your basil should be completely dry

3. Your basil should be completely dry. Place basil stems in a dry paper bag in a warm, dry location, such as an attic or a kitchen cupboard. Allow one or two weeks for the leaves to dry before removing them from the stalks. Store the leaves in canning jars to keep them as fresh as possible.

  • Dry basil leaves should be kept whole and crumbled at the last minute if required.
  • Before drying your bail, remove any yellow or stained leaves.
  • Dried basil should be preserved for approximately a year, or for as long as the scent remains consistent.
  • Basil may also be dried by hanging it in bunches in a warm, dry environment.
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Fresh basil should be kept in water.

4. Fresh basil should be kept in water. Basil stems should be cleaned and their bases trimmed. Fill a glass jar halfway with water, approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) to 2 inches (5.1 cm) deep. Basil stems may be stored at room temperature and out of direct sunlight for up to two weeks.

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“Basil cubes” should be made

5. “Basil cubes” should be made. 1 cup (250 mL) basil leaves and 1 tablespoon (15 mL) grape seed oil in a food processor Process until the basil leaves are finely chopped, then add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water and process until a paste forms. Fill an ice cube tray halfway with the mixture and freeze it.

  • After the cubes have frozen, keep them in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag for future use.
  • Basil cubes are a simple way to season sauces, soups, and curries.
  • Basil cubes may be stored in the freezer for three to four months.

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