How to harvest and properly store basil?

How to harvest and properly store basil?

So as a new gardener I came to this bump in the road and questioning what is the right way to harvest basil? So I’ve scoured the internet and also asked my father on what’s the proper way to harvest and store basil. These are the steps that I’ve learned on how to do just that.

Materials:

Paper towels

Ice water in a bowl or plastic container is fine

Scissors

Gallon size bag

Basil plants

Step 1: Go through your plant and take out all the dead leaves that have fallen on the soil.

Step 2: Start cutting the stems right after the first node of the mature basil. The mature basil will have two big leaves and two small leaves on it like the one in this picture. You want to make sure you harvest the basil before those two little leaves form seeds. Once it starts forming seeds it will die. Doing this will also help encourage new and more growth. You will see more stems growing and sprouting.

The node is right above my thumb. So you want to cut between where my thumb and where the two stems shoot off of the main stem.

Step 3: once you have harvested your basil go through them and take out any leaves that are starting to become diseased. You don’t want to eat those.

Step 4: cut off and discard the stems of your basil.

Step 5: take your leaves and run them under water to take off any soil or critters that may still be on them. Pat them as dry as you can get them with paper towels

After I harvested one of my two basil pots

Step 6: Put them in the ice cold water for 15 seconds. This will shock them and help stop them from going bad.

Step 7 pat them dry with a paper towel and fold the paper towel with the basil in it and store in a gallon sized bag.

The ones on the left is right after the ice bath and the ones on the right are about to be put into ziplock bags.

Step 8: repeat steps 6 and 7 if necessary.

Step 9 date and freeze your bags for future use.

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