At what time is it better to start collecting basil and how to do it?
Basil is a flavorful seasoning that is used in the preparation of many different dishes. Basil is used both fresh and dried.
It is important to know when it is best to collect Basil so that it retains its aroma and useful properties for a long time.
Our article will tell you how to prune basil leaves of the plant to get a delicious and fragrant harvest and at the same time to keep the bush growing and pleasing you further.
When to start harvesting?
In order to grow 2-3 basil crops in one summer season, you need to know at what time it should be collected. Choosing the right time to collect Basil will allow you to preserve its spicy flavor for as long as possible.
Important! The collection of spices is carried out when young plants reach a height of 15-20 cm. To dry the plant, you need to start collecting it before it begins to bloom. As soon as the first buds appear on the bushes, you can harvest your first crop. After the plant blooms, the leaves largely lose their aromatic properties. Collecting seeds from bushes is carried out later when the inflorescence of the bushes has already faded, become dry, and acquired a brown color. It is important to have time to collect before the inflorescences begin to crumble on the bed.
What time should I harvest the greens?
You can’t set aside a certain amount of time during the day to collect Basil. You can prepare your own stocks at any time. The main condition for collecting is Sunny, dry weather. During dampness, excess moisture accumulates in the leaves. If you collect Basil after the rain, it is likely that the crop will ripen.
Is it better to cut it off or pull it up by the roots?
In order for Basil to please you with its harvest several times in one summer season, cut the leaves of this spicy herb, and do not pull it up by the roots. If you pull out the bushes by the roots, then you can forget about re-harvesting. You do not need to cut the entire Bush completely, but part of the leaves, leaving 3-4 leaves on the main stem of the plant. It is the partial cutting of the leaves, and not complete the entire Bush, that will allow you to build up an even richer leaf mass. If the Bush is cut completely, then the pre-harvest will have to wait much longer.
How to harvest leaves?
At the first leaf harvest during the garden season, cut the leaves together with the tops of the shoots so that the plant begins to branch even more. When re-cutting Basil leaves, do not tear off the tops of the plant, since in this case, the Basil inflorescences will not appear. Plentifully water the plants after harvesting, top-dressing is allowed during watering. Loosen the soil between the bushes.
We gave practical recommendations for growing Basil in a greenhouse here. Algorithm of actions: Cut off inflorescences that have already faded. These include dry brown inflorescences. We put them in a dry, ventilated room. Inflorescences should dry completely. We crush the dried inflorescences, remove the garbage. We put the seeds in paper bags or cloth bags so that the seeds do not get wet during storage. Basil seeds are stored in a dry place at room temperature and remain germinated for five years. In the following video, you can learn how to collect Basil seeds.
How many times a year can prune basil leaves?
If you grow these useful bushes of spiced grass at home, then you can harvest it all year round (read about growing Basil at home, in the country, on the balcony in this article). When grown in the open ground, Basil is harvested 2-3 times a season before or at the beginning of flowering, at this time the young shoots and leaves are most fragrant. After 25-30 days after disembarkation, you can make the first collection. The main factors that affect the frequency of harvesting are weather conditions and the soil in which the spice grows. Basil does not grow well in cold and very humid summers due to the fact that it does not receive the necessary nutrition from the sun’s rays. Acidic or heavy soils with a large predominance of clay will also negatively affect your crop. Before you collect basil, you need to grow it.
How to store the crop for the first time?
Basil is tied in small bundles and hung in a dark, warm, ventilated place. Also, plants can be spread out on the table, but only in a thin layer. This is the only way all the leaves can dry out and the crop won’t get moldy. You can’t dry Basil in the sun. So that it does not lose its useful properties, and also that the accumulated essential oils do not evaporate, the storage temperature should not exceed +35C.
Important! It is necessary to dry the plants until they begin to be easily ground into powder in the palms of your hands. If you did everything right, the Basil will retain its natural color and aroma. Collect the spice in the allotted time. Following the rules described, you will save all the useful properties of Basil. Proper collection of Basil will allow you to provide yourself with natural vitamins for the whole winter.