how to harvest/save dill & basil

kvbchJune 3, 2011

When should I harvest my dill and basil for the seeds? I intend to save the seed to plant next year.

Also, should I save the seeds this fall/winter in a plastic baggie, or, a breathable paper envelope ??



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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Harvest when they are dry (and mature!) on the plant. I save seeds in envelopes (raid the junk mail you get in the post for these) or in old seed packets I've saved.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 3:21PM
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This is the first year I ever planted Basil and dill in pots. I do not know how to harvest it and use it for cooking. Does it have to be dried or can you use it right off the plant? Should you let it flower or pick it before it blooms?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:52AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Sharon, are your taste buds in for a treat!! Let's talk fresh basil! I've got several plants and usually use some every day.

You eat the leaves. (I think they taste best when they are small. The really big leaves, and any curled leaves, I pick off once in a while but I just put them in the compost.) You can put them in salads, on sandwiches, slivered and sprinkled over veggies, in any italian food, in scrambled eggs or omelettes... You can make pesto. If a recipe calls for a quantity of an herb and does not specify "fresh" it is assumed to be dried. A fresh amount would be about quadruple, 4x. BUT the flavor is much more potent if it's fresh. After using them a few times, you'll get to know how much your taste buds like, to put in your foods.

Here's my absolute favorite way to enjoy all those fresh tomatoes and basil leaves in summertime: Open a plain bagel and put mayo on both sides, or use a little olive oil if you prefer, a layer of basil leaves (I like a lot, but you might want to start lightly if you're not used to the taste of it fresh,) layer of sliced tomato, salt, pepper, slice of mozzarella. (I also like a few drops of hot sauce.) Bake until warm, cheese is melted, bagel is a little crispy on the edges. About 8 minutes in 275 degree toaster oven. Everybody I've made these for loves them and they say stuff like, "I feel like I'm in Italy for a minute."

As far as actually "picking basil," I just walk out and grab whatever leaves look like I should eat them that day. I usually just take the individual leaves but sometimes I pull chunks of stem off, too, if the plants are getting too tall. I don't eat the stems, but use them to flavor sauces. Some people eat the flower parts, too, but I've never got that far since there's always so many leaves.

I'm not one for dill, will leave that to someone else... and I've got to go make lunch now, talking about basil made me really hungry!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 12:17PM
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