I mentioned in my previous post, My Community Garden, that I was growing basil. Well that basil is tall and about to flower so I’m wondering, is it time to cut my basil?
Here’s a few basil growing tips I’ve learned to answer my question above.
1. I did not grow my basil from seed. I bought it at a garden center, it was about 6 inches tall and came in a container that you planted. There was no need to take it out of the pot, I just dug a hole and put it in.
I did mix a small amount of Miracle grow gardening soil along with soil already in my plot but that was all the help I gave it. I did no fertilizing. Experts do recommend fertilizing your basil plant if growing indoors.
The best growing conditions for basil are – they need about 6 hours of sunlight so my garden plot was the perfect location. They also need a well drained area and needs watering on a regular basis in the hot summer months. I did not water my basil daily because we had a wet spring and it got plenty of water but now I’m having to go over to my community garden more often to water as the hot days of summer are here.
2. Once basil starts flowering at the top (like in the photo below) prune your basil plant to the first 6 to 8 leaves. This will encourage new growth as well, so prune away. You want to get rid of the flowering top so it doesn’t go to seed, otherwise the new plants won’t have as much flavoring, which is what I need to get busy doing.
3. Once you’ve cut your basil, pick off the leaves and throw the stems away. Put your basil leaves in a bowl and wash with warm water.
4. Place in an air tight plastic bag or container and store in the freezer. Or if you have plans to use it soon store in the fridge.
Here’s a link to e- How 3 different ways to freeze your basil. Very helpful, pick your way and start freezing that basil you grew outdoors.
On more thing about growing basil, there are many different kinds of basil such as sweet basil so know the kind you want to grow first. This is something I didn’t do so I can’t tell you what kind of basil I’ve grown. I’ll know better next year to keep the tag but from the few stalks I’ve picked already it’s strong smelling and I can’t wait to start using it in my sauces.
Have fun growing your basil outdoors, I’m amazed at how easy it was!