No matter where you live, whether or not you have land for a garden, growing basil is something you can do even in the smallest apartments. This herb grows perfectly in pots or containers that you can put on your balcony.
1. Secrets to a good harvest of basil.
While talking about harvesting basil may seem super easy since it's just about cutting leaves this is not the case. Here we will see some tips to make the most of the harvest of this herb:
1.1 When to harvest
It is well known that it is an annual herb, that is, it dies every year and must be planted again. You can start removing the leaves from your kitchen as soon as the plant reaches 6 inches in height.
On the other hand, it is always better not to allow the plant to flower since from that moment the leaves begin to lose their original flavor. Therefore, the largest harvests should be done before flowering.
If you have to determine an ideal time of day to harvest basil, it is best to do so at times when it is not hot. That is, very early in the morning, late afternoon or on cold days.
1.2 Perform the correct pruning
If you want to get the most out of your basil, you must prune correctly. This will not only increase the amount of production, but also extend the time you will have leaves to harvest.
At the right time (read the previous section), pruning is a simple task to perform, you just need to be regular on the task. Take the opportunity to combine harvesting with pruning, do not randomly remove leaves from your plant, or you will do poor pruning.
When cutting the leaves, cut the stem just above another group of leaves. Leaving a space of approximately half an inch between the cut and said group of leaves. This will ensure that this stem sprouts again. Do this repeatedly and you will have a basil with increasingly dense foliage.
As for the regularity of this pruning, it must be done at least every two weeks, always avoiding the plant to flower. In case you have produced cocoons, cut them without fear.
For more detailed information on pruning basil, you can visit this post.
1.3 Great harvests
In case you have a large number of basil plants, perhaps making a regular harvest throughout the season is somewhat complicated, which will take a long time. Therefore, you should know that you can cut the entire plant, a couple of centimeters from the base, making a super fast harvest.
There are many ways to preserve basil, perhaps the most widespread is to dry it, so if you have a very large harvest you can save it and have its leaves ready to use for many months.
Well, we've already seen some secrets to a good harvest, but to make sure your plants are harvested, let's look at how you should grow it.
2. How to grow basil
First of all, correctly select the variety you are going to plant, the most common is Ocimum basilicum. Once the variety is selected, it is time to prepare the containers, they can be individual or sow all in a recent one.
In cold areas it is preferable to place these containers indoors, the correct time is approximately 6 weeks before the first frosts.
Moisten the soil then you can put vermiculite and peat mulch. Finally, do the seeding (it shouldn't be deep, just a few millimeters below the ground) and cover the container with clear plastic wrap.
Check every day that the soil remains moist. In a few days you will start to see the first seeds sprout, keep watering regularly until the plants are at least an inch tall.
With proper care, it won't take long for seedlings to develop two pairs of leaves, that's the right time to transplant each one.
Keep in mind that this herb does not resist cold weather, so you should plant it in a place protected from any exposure to intense cold.
Regardless of where you are going to transplant them, keep in mind that each plant needs a certain space to develop in a good way. Approximately 6 inches of distance between each plant is the minimum suitable for good freedom of development.
2.3 Basic care
As I do not want to extend the publication too much, I advise you to read this good article, where you can see some of the most important basic care that you must carry out to have a healthy and strong basil.
And with this we have finished this post, I hope you have no doubts when harvesting your basil. ;)