To make your cooking smell and taste more delicious, some herbs are used. Basil is one of them, depending on the meals. To get plenty, how to harvest basil? Of course, there are some steps you must take first. If you do it right, you will get plenty of fresh ones when the middle of summer comes.
There are a lot of decent meals that require the use of basil. To use it well, learn how to harvest it first.
1. 3 Things for The Best Results of Basil
Basil plants are easy to manage. You get to pick its leaves any time you want. Harvesting this encourages it to produce more, no matter how often you pick the leaves. For the best results, check out these three (3) things:
Harvest their small amounts
Instead of cutting the entire stem, pick a few leaves off each plant. Do not forget to pinch the tips. This will trigger – or encourage – the plant to start growing some more. The picked-out leaves will be replaced with the new ones soon.
Harvesting their large amounts
Harvest them from the top to the lowest part. Cut the third of the plant’s total height. Do not forget to cut or pinch above a leaf pair instead of leaving a stub. Wait for a few weeks. Your basil plants will start growing more leaves again.
The final harvest
This is done at the season’s end, alias before the first frost. Cut the whole stems to the ground. Pick off the entire leaves. When you place the stems into the compost pile, bring the basil leaves indoors. That will be for cooking and preserving in the afternoon.
2. Other Ways to Harvest Basil
When it comes to harvesting basil, there are many ways. To avoid the growing basil from overshadowing other herbs nearby, pruning is the way. To be more precise, here are the steps:
Prepare the right things
For your growing basil, here are the things to prepare first:
Herbs that need harvesting.
Sharp scissors or gardening shears (snips).
Some jars. (Make sure they can be airtight.)
Mesh fabric. (This is for drying.)
Look for a couple of the largest basil leaves on a stem. Below them, check out some little nodes (knobs) growing in between the smaller stem of leaves.
Then cut the stem about ½ to ¼ above the nodes. Do this again with the larger leaves on your basil plants. Once most of the plant is harvested, check out for other larger leaves. Try to avoid the ones on the bottom of the plant, while the rest are good for a trim.
Air it dry
Tie the stems together. You can use a string or a twist tie. Hang it in an airy space but not at the spot where there is direct sunlight. Leave it for a few days until it dries. Then put it in a jar. You can use it later.
Put it in an oven or a microwave
Lay each of them out on a paper towel. Each must be at a decent space between one another. Using an oven or a microwave, heat it up for good 15 or 20 seconds intervals. Once the leaves feel dry enough, crumble them up. Place them in a jar so that you can use them later.
To freeze your dried basil leaves, use olive oil. Chop them and put them in a bowl of olive oil. Mix them up good. Then pour the combination into small molds. Wrap and put them in the freezer for later use.
Yes, that is how to store fresh basil.
3. What Can We Do with Fresh Basil?
Of course, your first step is to remove basil leaves from their stems. Remove and get rid of any leaves that are already dead or spotted. Then rinse the remaining basil thoroughly. After that, let it dry. If you feel that it is not dry fast enough, use a towel and gently pat it.
As long as they are chopped well, you can use any fresh basil for these meals:
Sandwiches and wraps
Besides these meals, there are other things that you can do with fresh basil:
Pour a cup of boiling water. Add two tablespoons of fresh basil (chopped).
Steep it for five minutes.
Sweeten it with raw honey to taste.
Your tea is ready to drink.
Add your dried basil to potpourri and sachets. You can also add it to some homemade cleaning products. It will give the clean, fresh scent.
4. Keep Your Basil Well-Preserved
As you have seen, there are three (3) ways to keep your basil well-preserved. These are the ways:
The dried basil
By storing the basil in an airtight jar, you get to use it for later.
The frozen basil
Use your refrigerator for this. Another option is to freeze the basil leaves and water in ice cubes before using them for soups.
The cooked recipes with basil
You can either turn your basil into a pesto sauce or marinara sauce. The latter works wonders if you have a lot of tomatoes and garlic. With marinara, stewed tomatoes, and soups, you can do all with freezing and canning.
Have fun in the kitchen.
Harvesting basil can be done in three (3) different ways for the best results. For the usual, you can also use the pruning system. This will help you to get the well-preserved basil once it is dry.
Before you use any of it for your cooking, you need to know how to harvest basil first. Once you master at it, then you have plenty of basil stored in your freezer and ready for later use. Your cooking will certainly smell and taste much more delicious.