TIPS FOR HARVESTING AND STORING BASIL:
- Basil is ready for harvesting when it's leaves are visibly mature. At this point there should be 3-5 sets of basil leaves per plant.
- To harvest, use either your fingers or scissors to sever clusters of leaves from larger stems right above a lower growth point (see the video clip above).
- Harvest up to half of your plant's leaves every 1-2 weeks. This will encourage growth in your basil plant and multiply your harvest!
- Basil will begin to lose its color, flavor, and smell soon after harvest, so harvest with a use in mind. Extend the shelf life of your fresh herbs by placing basil clusters in cold water like cut-flowers.
- Preserve your basil for up to several months by placing either whole leaves or very finely chopped (by hand or in a food processor) cubes of basil in the freezer. Alternatively, hang leafy basil stems upside down in an area with good air flow for one week, then remove basil leaves for some home grown dried basil.