Basil is a certain type of herb known by its scientific name of ocimum basilicum and its leaves have been used for numerous purposes for many centuries. In India it is even considered as a holy plant and it is commonly included with a deceased person in order to help its soul reach heavens. Basil leaves are usually used for numerous culinary purposes as they are very efficient in enhancing the taste of other food items. In some regions of the world basil leaves are used for the warding off of the insects. Basil leaves can also be mixed with honey and used as a very potent treatment for cough or indigestion. The great thing about basil is that everyone can grow it in their home garden.
Harvesting Basil Leaves
Growing the basil plant and its leaves requires a few methods but there are also certain important guidelines concerning the process of harvesting. Following certain steps a person may grow the plant to its maximum possible height which will be very bushy and have plenty of leaves. It is very important to harvest the plant every 4 weeks. The growing tip of the plant needs to be cut off periodically as well. The growing tip should not be cut off unless the plant has at least 3 sets of leaves there and if it has not reached the height of one foot. It is highly recommended to wait until the plant develops 6 leaves. If a person follows these guidelines carefully, the basil plant should be able to produce up to 25 cups of leaves per season. The smallest leaves should always be kept on the top so that they can be chopped off during the next harvest season. The leaves that do not get chopped off usually turn yellow over time and eventually fall off on their own. Those who grow basil plants outdoors need to bring them inside once the low temperatures start kicking in. The frost and the winds can damage the plant and it cannot survive in such climate. Flowering of the buds is usually a way of showing that the plant is soon to be dead.
When to Harvest
The best time of the day is usually morning, before the temperature starts rising. The plant should be watered well on the night before harvesting in order to get rid of all the harmful particles. The basil seeds should not be harvested unless they are ready to pop out by themselves.