I’ve been waiting for the first basil harvest! It’s been a tough month for my green friends with the high heat and smoky conditions it is just literally cooking them in their containers! Thankfully I only have morning sun so yes they are in high heat but they at least don’t have too much direct light. I only planted one type of basil this year and this is about my 3rd year growing my own basil. I’m not a growing expert just muddling my way through but I have learned a lot along the way!
Actually harvesting the basil encourages them to grow even bushier! Trim the tops of you basil to promote a healthier growth.
You are going to want to snip it off right before you see growths either side of the stem above a set of two side leaves. You can also just pinch off a couple leaves if you only wanted a small piece.
Be sure to have the proper tools cleaned and sharp. Careful they are sharp!
I picked quite a few leaves for the recipe that I was using and also the plant is out of control since I over crowded the seeds and it needed a good cutting. If you don’t cut down your basil once in a while it may grow tall and leggy and you may not get as bountiful a harvest.
Wash and drain the harvested basil to rinse off any bugs or dirt.
Pat the basil dry with a towel if you are using right away. Basil is best fresh but there are many ways to preserve it. If it’s only going to be in there a short time this is a good method I do. Use a dampened paper towel, not soaking just wet. Fold the basil gently within the damp towel.
Store the unused basil in a bag in the fridge for freshness, use within a week preferably. I used them all up and didn’t dry or freeze any of this batch, it’s been so long since I had a fresh basil from my balcony!