Remove the top 1/3 of the plants growth when flowers It’s best not to prune more than 50% of the foliage at one time. When planting Basil into the ground, amend the soil generously with compost. To check for soil moisture, use your finger or a small trowel to dig in and examine the soil. The plant typically does not flower, which means its flavor-packed leaves are produced over a longer season. Harvesting Stems and Pruning the Plant 1. basil with lots of cultivars being developed within those species. Use leaves fresh, or dry and keep in an airtight container. Mine gets about 4 feet tall and very neat in growth.I am keeping about a dozen in small pots in hopes of overwintering it-it roots really easily and is happy in water on a sunny windowsill. Return the plants outdoors in the spring when the danger of frost is past, or simply replace with fresh plants If planting the herbs in a container, start with a good quality, commercial potting soil. Warm season annual. Basil planted into the ground during the summer months will suffer Once temperatures hit 80°F (27°C), basil will really start leafing out. google_color_link = "275018"; Allow seed heads to Harvesting Larger Amounts: Harvest the leaves from the top down, cutting back up to a third of the total plant height. While you’re picking, periodically pinch off the branch tips, to encourage the plant to fill out. When all the plants are potted, water thoroughly to settle the soil and give plants a good start. Greek Columnar Basil will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. I recommend removing the top 1/3 of the growth when There's no better way to add flavor to summer dishes than with a bit of this fresh herb. Drought tolerant. Trim the plant from the top down to remove stems. You can even cut the plant back later in the season to promote a second growth that will allow you to have the Basil over a longer period. Cut stems right above the leaf node. Harvesting Small Amounts: Pick a few leaves off each plant, rather than cutting off a whole stem. Remove the plant from its pot or pack. Firm the soil down around the plant by hand, tamping with the flat side of a small trowel, or even by pressing down on the soil by foot. Become a member of the exclusive club and join the gardening elite! Planting & Growing. Herbs can be harvested throughout the growing season to be used fresh, dried, or frozen. Dig the hole up to two times larger than the root ball and deep enough that the plant will be at the same level in the ground as the soil level in the container. This indicates that the soil is thoroughly wet. These are usually lighter in weight than topsoil, sterile and pest-free. Our comprehensive basil growing guide has all the info you need to maximize your harvest. The general rule for use in cooking is: use twice as much fresh or frozen herb as compared to dried herb. Annual. google_ui_features = "rc:0"; Repeat Before you can dry basil, you’ll want to make sure you’re growing healthy leaves. Annual. When you're ready to harvest the basil for food preparation, use scissors or garden shears to cut above a node of the plant. Basil plants originate in tropical areas of Asia, Australia, and Africa. In frost free areas, you can harvest leaves throughout the year as it does not die down. stem tips anywhere they are still green. All basil is prized for its highly aromatic these plants on the late spring and summer growing list even here in our subtropical Northeast Florida climate. This variety produces very little flowers which allows the leaves to be harvested over a longer period. in Jacksonville and St. Augustine area gardens. For our next method, you’ll begin by washing the basil leaves in cold water.