When can i start harvesting basil?

rafiaApril 22, 2013

I tried looking up when i could harvest basil but i didnt find anything useful... My basil plants have about 4-6 true leaves so far, I dont know if that is enough to start harvesting yet so how many leaves should my plant have before i can start using/picking off the leaves? I cant wait! smells really good already!

Also, how old should a catnip plant be before you start harvesting the leaves?

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SaraElise(8b)

You can harvest some now. Actually, if you snip off the top it will encourage the plant to create branches -- not all the leaves, just the topmost set.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 5:30PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Rule of thumb is to harvest no more than 1/3 of the living plant material - ie. you can't leave just sticks and stems. The plant needs enough leaves for photosynthesis. Some plants can tolerate more than 1/3 but start there. You'll get the idea pretty quick on how much to clip or not clip at one time.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:01PM
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balloonflower(5b Denver CO, HZ 5-6, Sunset 2b)

Look up 'pinching' basil. Maybe you can get a better idea or pictures of what to do with this size plant. Both previous posters gave wonderful advice. Basil grows a leaf pair, then the stem goes up in the middle. Pinching takes out that stem, encouraging the plant to bush out more, rather than just growing one stem. Personally, I would pinch some tiny new growth to encourage the bushing, then just enjoy the scent a little longer and wait before actually trying to harvest--give your plant more time and leave the larger leaves for now.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 10:50PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I would say that you sould let it to grow atleast three nodes . Then pinch off the last (above node)...continue with the branches the same way. Whe the plant gets REAL big, you can trim it more vigorously.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 5:07AM
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