Basil blooming, Now what?

snappybob(SaTexas Zone 8)April 18, 2006

My basil is blooming and putting on seeds. I seem to recollect that there is something I need to do when this happens but I can't remember what. Could someone refresh my memory please. I'm new to growing herbs.


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katwomn59(8b-Austin, TX)

You want to pinch off the blooms if you want to keep your basil producing leaves. The weather this year is crazy isnt it? Basically no fall or winter and already getting summer temps!


    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 8:24PM
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Yeah... for YOU! California is still in winter! Kinda crazy.... Usually, my 'crops' are in the ground already... I haven't even tilled my mud soup yet. Pinch that basil and plant more... :o)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 9:10PM
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teryaki(z5B NE OHIO)

Pinch off all the flowers, then either let it keep growing, or wait a week for the flavor to come back (keep pinching off the flowers), and start making pesto or spaghetti sauce! :)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 11:51PM
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Cut off the top 1/3 of your plant. Don't be shy. A plant's goal in life is to produce seed. If you let this happen with basil, you won't have much basil to eat anymore. Keep eating it.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 3:59AM
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snappybob(SaTexas Zone 8)

Thanks everybody. I'm going to start pinching as soon as I get home from work today. Lydia, the weather HAS been crazy this year. No spring, no rain and straight into summer. 100+ deg for the last 2 days. I think you guys got some rain last night. I hope you didn't get any hail. That looked like a pretty big storm on the radar.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 9:24AM
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katwomn59(8b-Austin, TX)

Nope, the hail didnt get me, but I made sure moved all the plants I had hanging off my balcony rail just in case! I thought last year was bad with upper 90's in May, but 100 degree weather in April is just ridiculous. I am a Yankee by birth and although I have lived in TX most of my adult life, I have never gotten used to the heat!

Heathen, my family lives in CA and I have heard about all the rain y'all are having. Who would've thunk it? I think folks over here would probably trade with y'all (at least for a little while!).


    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 7:58PM
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Well.... this might be a trend... last spring was wet too. Global warming I guess... sigh... I really liked having a long growing season! :o)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 8:31PM
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A side note on the basil blossoms-- If you can pinch the tops before the blossom opens you can use it in your pestos, etc. After the blossom head flowers the entire tip gets fibrous and is not suitable for most preparations. I had sold lots of basil to restaurants who all had no problems with closed blossoms along with the upper 3-4" of stem and leaves, the portion that snaps off easily without stringing. The stem below the "Tender tip" will be stringy and even woody. By waiting until the blossom flowers, you basically lose the use of the stem portion where most of the weight is.

Simetimes it is just inconvenient to harvest the tips when the tip is still tender. But if you wait your labors are less rewarding.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 5:01PM
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