fun little lesson on herbs. we mostly want to grow herbs for the foliage. unless we are talking about coriander, that gets a little confusing. let’s just focus on the simple herbs. a common kitchen staple, at least in our house is basil!
yesterday, i was speaking with some friends about how my basil had died on my husbands watch while the peanut and i made an 18 day trip to visit family. to be fair, i’m not blaming my full time job holding head of household, he kept most of my other plants alive. one of my friends mentioned hers just seemed to stop growing. i asked, did it flower?
harmless as it is, when most herbs flower, the plant has done what it has set out to do. it has insured their progeny. flowers produce seeds and the parent plant can die knowing those seeds will grow more plants. sounds so sad when i say it out loud!
but, if you never let the plant flower, it will grow and thrive and give you many months worth of those deliciously fragrant leaves!
there are 3 simple steps to getting a basil plant to last you at least through spring and summer!
1. a simple way to do this is to pinch off the flower as a bud appears.
2. another tip is to not just remove a leaf here and there as needed. clip off a few leaves above a node. that way, the plant will actually be forced to branch out and make a bigger better plant!
3. a beautiful thing about basil is that it is one of the easiest plants to root from a cutting. you can either place the cutting into some water until it produces roots, or you can dip the cutting in a little rooting hormone and place it directly into some prepared potting soil. this way you can make a few extra plant in case one is particularly attractive to any garden pests or you have cooked up a big batch of pesto, leaving it in need of a little time to grow!
thankfully, a piece of my basil plant had snapped off before my trip to Louisiana. so now we have a well rooted cutting ready to plant. and i live in the most amazing neighborhood with the very best neighbors and i got myself a couple of new clippings to keep my pizza and pasta garden going strong!
hope you too can find yourself a little snip of basil and get yourself on the way to a hardy and yummy addition to your garden!