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Old 07-23-2008, 11:10 PM   #1
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Is there a correct way to harvest basil?

I've always just popped off the nice looking bigger leaves, and whatever is going to come off when I take the seed heads off... but I was wondering today if I'm doing it right?
I do have new baby leaves starting where I've picked bigger ones so I assume so... rather than plucking off a whole branch.

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Old 07-23-2008, 11:17 PM   #2
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Hey suziquzie... what I did is just lop off the plant... leaving about 2 inches of stem from the soil. The whole thing grew back with in 2 weeks and is ready to be lopped off again!!!!
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:18 PM   #3
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To store, you can rinse and then wrap a moist paper towel around it and then put it into a storage container or plastic bag. The second time it grew back in, it was lusher and the leaves more supple!!!

Edited: I'm not sure that is the correct way, I actually thought I would lose the plant after I did that, but looks like I get to harvest again...yippeeee!
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:16 AM   #4
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The wife is asleep so I can't ask her details, but anytime I ask for Basil, Thyme, Parsley or lettuce she just goes out and lops a bunch off of it. It always grows back, but I have noticed they are the few plants she does make sure get plenty of water on a regular basis and they just keep leafing out all summer long.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:33 AM   #5
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Cut it off right above a joint of leaves (don't know the technical term). You don't want to cut right below, but, right above two leaves. I think I said that right anyway.

You do NOT want to let it flower/bloom. Once you see the blooms cut them off right away OR you can wash them, pack them in a jar, cover with olive oil, and use that VERY SAME DAY for browning/cooking chicken in or even making a salad dressing. It's not something you want to keep around though!!!!!!
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:37 AM   #6
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no blooms.... oops.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillingFool View Post
no blooms.... oops.
Blooms left on the plant make for an unhealthy plant after they bloom - really takes away from the health of the leaves.
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Old 07-28-2008, 02:59 PM   #8
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I am going to reiterate what others have said: don't let the basil "bolt" (i.e., flower). You'll get a lot more basil if you pinch it back every time it looks like it will flower. I even have been known to pinch back other's plants when I see them start to bolt.

I've discovered that for my purposes taking basil, olive oil, and garlic, pureeing in the food processor, then freezing is best. I do make some pesto as well, and I do also do some with a simple vegetable oil so that I can use it in Southeast Asian cuisines.
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:58 PM   #9
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Do Not Let the Basil Plant Flower

I agree with kitchenelf. AND when you want to save some for much later in the season.....take the leaves DO NOT WASH Dust with a paper towel place in a small plastic container,pack .and place in the freezer.

I had some before the beginning of this season....still fine in the FREEZER.
Of course then I put it in my Compost Pile. Started using the new basil.

I have my own Basil all year.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:16 PM   #10
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I've not ever let it flower. They told me not to the first time I bought a plant.... sound advice! Just wondering if my picking method between planting and end of season was right.

When I freeze my basil I usually make a paste in the mulcher (food processor) of basil and EVOO.... not alot of oil....freeze in ice cube trays then put in a freezer bag.... that works great also.
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