With basil, pruning and harvesting are essentially the same thing. Check out our YouTube channel for more videos by clicking here! Pinch and remove the flower heads as soon as they appear. When removed from the freezer and unwrapped, the cigars can be thinly sliced into ribbons that will make a ho-hum pizza truly unforgettable. Storing Basil. How to Make Thai Basil Pork . Pruning basil flowers is key to keep the plant growing. ), your basil can continue to produce a nice harvest until cold weather arrives. How to prune basil flowers. Veg Garden Edible Garden Garden Plants Fruit Garden Vegetable Gardening House Plants Growing Herbs Growing Vegetables Basil Growing. Because Basil is an annual, it is in a hurry to flower and set seed. Pinch the basil leaves by their base, where it meets the stem, then gently pull the leaf from the stem. It will not do well with frost. Basil is also prone to attack by whitefly and red spider mite, both of which can be treated with horticultural soap. A plant allowed to flower will soon go to seed, stop growing, and die, so be vigilant about removing flowers. Pinching is the act of removing an upper portion of a stem on an herb plant in order to encourage new leaf growth from the lower dormant leaf buds. This year, I will grow my own herbs!" If you let those flowers continue to bloom and then dry out, you can seed-save: harvest the seed from within to grow future basil plants! Before you make your pinch, take a close look at your basil plant. Long and leggy basil plants will not produce the best. In this No Fuss video guide, David Hurrion demonstrates the best way to sow tomato seeds: ... into 30cm pots, or put two or three plants in a growing bag. Here is more on how to grow basil over here if you are interested. Step-by-Step . Pinching plants is a form of pruning that encourages branching on the plant. Add to Bookmarks. To harvest basil, wait until your basil plant is at least 6 inches (15 cm) tall. Article by The Oregonian/OregonLive . We’ve found an assortment of recipes that feature fresh basil. Stir fry the garlic and chilies for 30 seconds. Growing basil: problem solving. This helpful video can show you more: How to Keep Basil From Flowering. Click here to watch the How to Prune Basil video. Apr 29, 2013 - Like the idea of doing more with less? Courtney says. When it comes to pruning basil (or many other plants for that matter), the leaves you choose to remove matter for the health of the plant and for your continued enjoyment of fresh basil all season long. Basil is such a useful herb to have in the kitchen. Pinch or cut each stem just above the second set of leaves after transplanting the basil plant to encourage the development of lateral branches for greater leaf production. Push to the side and add the egg and scramble it and then incorporate into the rest of the ingredients. Related Gardening. Basil loves hot weather, and if your plants are flourishing, it’s time to prune (and harvest). Combine all the sauce ingredients together and set aside. Basil will turn brown at the first sign of frost. We pinch basil flowers in the early summer, but as the season goes on, we let our basil flower for the bees. Basil is one of the most versatile herbs around. ), keep trimming back the plant when it gets large and bushy. Freeze/Frost Dates. Frequent harvesting of your basil will keep the plant healthy and encourage the plant to “bush”. Use good quality parmesan, not the shelf stable stuff that is not refrigerated. Leave at least half of the leaves on the plant so that it continues to grow. Basil is a good example. The best way you can keep your basil from flowering is to pinch off any flower buds you see the moment you see them. When harvesting basil, it’s best to pinch off a piece of the stem rather than just snipping off a leaf or two. Never remove more than 20% of the leaves unless you are at the end of the growing season. It’s easy: you just need to pinch them. Trying not to put basil on everything… now that’s the hard part. Extras. If the basil plant is growing vertically, pinch the leaves from the top to encourage lateral growth. Check your basil plants frequently for flowers, and if you see any, pinch them off right away. Ideally, you should start to cut basil early in the season, when the plant is about 6 inches tall or has at least 6 leaves. If you see any flowers start to appear, remove them immediately. When you pinch back the stems to the next leaf cluster, you keep the plant from getting leggy and stimulate new growth. Pinching the flower of a basil plant to encourage growth is easy enough. The most common type is sweet basil. Or, you can also cut the leaves with a small pair of scissors, making sure you don’t cut the stem when doing so. It may seem counterproductive to cut back a plant that you want more of, but pinching many annual and tender perennial plants—like coleus—encourages branching and full, bushy growth. Pinch off fresh young basil leaves whenever you need them if you plan to use them within the day. Learn how to grow your own Basil in our how to video. Pinching off these flowers helps keep the plant growing. I grow several varieties of basil each year. Watch this video to learn how to pinch annuals and tropical perennials. So when a freeze is in the forecast, consider harvesting the remaining leaves and making pesto, then freezing it for ready access to that fresh basil flavor. Those are the plants you want to … This helps you get another harvest of leaves before its flavors start to decline. By pinching or pruning certain plants, you can get a larger harvest. Pinch out the center plant and more growth will grow from the side shoots. However, in autumn, when temperatures start to dip, bring a few plants back indoors to provide a fresh supply of leaves in winter. This will also stop it from flowering and going to seed. Basil plants initially grow one central stem. You can also cut the stem 1/4 inch above a leaf if your basil plant is getting taller than you'd like. I dip branches of basil in boiling water for 10 seconds, and then pinch off the leaves and stack them about five deep. Basil grows quickly, so even if you don’t want to use the leaves right away (gasp! Reply. Just pinch the flowers off! Save the removed foliage for use. Trim the entire basil plant if it becomes overgrown or produces weak stems with sparse foliage. Keep reading to learn more about pinching back plants. Basil is a half-hardy annual, so new plants will be needed each year. 4. Use the pinched leaves or dry them, so there’s no waste. Basil leaves grow in sets of two and the leaves are positioned opposite from each other on the stem. Read more. Watch Alan Titchmarsh’s No Fuss video guide to planting tomatoes in a growing bag: Planting tomatoes in a greenhouse. Pinching out the growing points also prolongs the productive life of the plant. And you’re done! Get the most from your herbs I: Pinch, pinch, pinch! With a little attention and care (and a lot of pinching! This will force the plants to branch and grow more leaves. (Including saving and recipes!!) To harvest basil, cut the herb back about ¼-inch (6 mm.) Harvesting Stems and Pruning the Basil Plant . It’s a best practice to prune this herb; especially in the center of the stem. Basil is a good example. As basil plants grow to 4 to 6 inches tall, pinch off the topmost branches to promote more side shoots and a taller plant overall. By pinching or pruning certain plants, you can get a larger harvest. ... Minced garlic (granulated garlic can be used in a pinch, but fresh is better) Basil (chiffonade) Salt & Pepper to taste Sorry no exact amounts, I just make it to smell/taste – more vinegar than EVOO. If the flower stems are too woody to pinch (often the case with Thai basil), cut them off with shears. The wrong way to prune basil. Cut off a stem of leaves and place the stem in water if it will be longer than a day before you use the leaves. The secret lies in frequent pinching and harvesting. You don’t need a huge garden space for it to grow and come warmer weather it bursts with leaves. By pinching out the tip of a stem on our Basil plants, we prevent the plant from flowering from that stem, so it keeps on growing new shoots in … It's one of my favorite … I love basil and want plenty to use fresh and to preserve as pesto and in herb vinegar. When to Cut Basil. As the plants keep sending out new branching stems, continue to pinch … Define Pinching Plants. Depending on the type of basil, the flower buds will be green, yellow, or purple, and have tiny, triangular petals. It’s a win-win situation for you and for the plant. Add the pork and stir fry for about 5 minutes. July 6, 2017 at 2:13 pm. While pinching off the flower buds will help, it’s even better to harvest half the plant and make pesto. Whether growing basil for culinary use or as an ornamental in the garden, this plant must be pinched back. Want to know how to grow basil from start to finish? This means that when you pinch a plant, you are removing the main stem, forcing the plant to grow two new stems from the leaf nodes below the pinch or cut. Videos. This will also stop it from flowering and going to seed. Be sure to pinch off blooms to prevent your plant from going to seed. Why Do You Pinch Plants? I pinch them off at their base and put them in tiny bud vases in the kitchen, where they both look and smell beautiful. If you pinch out the growing tip of the main stem when the Basil is around 20cm (8 inches) tall it will encourage a bushier plant. It is a summer-loving plant. Basil: Pinching back basil means more edible leaves and a more attractive plant. I have used that stuff in a pinch, and it was still good. In fact, great greenhouses will prune their basil plants before they put them out for sale. For the plant to remain healthy, grow vigorously, and provide you with plenty of basil this season, it’s important to learn how to prune it correctly. 1.8k. Pinch off the stems 1/4-inch above the topmost bud to force further branching on the plant. If you want to grow it, just know that basil loves sunlight and heat. If you plan on harvesting your basil plant, make sure to keep an eye on it daily. Then I roll up the blanched leaves like tight cigars, wrap the cigars in waxed paper, and then freeze them in airtight containers. If growing tomatoes in a greenhouse, try growing alongside basil, which thrives in the same conditions. Then, pinch off any number of leaves with your fingers to use as a garnish or in a recipe. Growing Basil . Pinching and Harvesting Herb Plants. Watch the video exactly how I do it! Basil thrives in moist soil, so check moisture levels often and water deeply once the top inch becomes dry. Maybe you blanched at the price of fresh herbs in the produce section this spring, or you were seduced by a bright pot of basil at your local nursery, and you thought, "Hey! Add the oil to a Wok or skillet. Protect plants from snails and slugs. Pinch back each vertical stem on the basil plant beginning when it is 6 inches tall, or about three weeks after planting. With a sweet, peppery, and slightly minty taste, it brightens up many meals. Once they are reach 6-8 inches tall, pinch the central stem back by half and about ¼ inch above the leaf axils. by Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist) August 10, 2014.