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Harvesting basil

close up of basil plant with top leaves pinched for harvest
By LeAnnL
Jun 07, 2023

Update from Master Gardener Shirley in Lane County…“Basil may be harvested by selecting individually leaves from the base of the plant.  If you need more basil for a recipe, you can snip-off the top section of a stem.  To promote continued growth, be sure to cleanly snip the stem  just” above a point that has one or two sets of  lateral matching stems.  (Refer to photo for snipping site)   You want to avoid over harvesting your basil in a short period of time.  If you use a lot of basil, it is best to have two plants, and alternate weekly harvests.  Always be sure to leave enough foliage on the plant so the plant can recover and continue to grow new top growth. Over harvesting your basil in one harvest, will significantly reduce its ability to recover. Clipping the stem “just above a double set of leaves” encourages the plant to branch out and grow upward. If your basil starts to produce flowers at the tip of a stem, simply pinch the tip off.”  

Photo: Nufar Basil   A Genovese-type basil   

This is an update from Shirley at the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden in Eugene. Master Gardeners are growing along for the 2023 Food Hero Grow This! Gardening challenge. Thousands of Oregonians have received their seeds from Food Hero, and OSU Master Gardener volunteers are growing along right beside you to share updates and growing tips.

You can visit the Master Gardener Adaptative Committee Specialists Garden and see all of this work live and in person. The garden is open to the public Monday thru Thursday, 10AM-4PM. 996 Jefferson St., Eugene, Oregon