If you're an enthusiastic home cook you probably have a container of basil growing on your windowsill, ready to liven up your dishes with its aromatic peppery leaves. After all, where would a Caprese salad be without those crowning fresh basil leaves?
But when it comes to harvesting those fresh and fragrant leaves have you been doing it right? For example, did you know that basil enjoys regular harvesting and that there's a right way to pick the leaves to make sure your plant flourishes?
With that in mind, we take a quick look at how to harvest basil to keep your plant-strong which means you can keep cooking strong.
How to Harvest Basil
When to pick basil?
You can pick basil as and when you need it, but the morning time is best, especially if you are harvesting a lot of leaves.
Make sure to pick the leaves regularly to encourage growth throughout the summer.
How to pick basil leaves?
Pick off the tips of each stem - just above a pair of leaves, new shoots will grow from each stem creating a fuller plant. (Picking stems from the base of the plant will encourage tall, lanky plants.)
Pinch off any flowers as they start to grow to help encourage your basil plant to grow more leaves.
Pick a few leaves off each plant, rather than cutting off a whole stem. While you’re picking, periodically pinch off the branch tips, to encourage the plant to fill out.
If you cut too much basil from your plant you can always freeze it.
When you have your fresh cut Basil, you can go to town, making the perfect pesto