This is the third post of five in the Summer seasonal Series.
During the heat of the summer Basil will continually attempt to bolt to seed. Once seeds have developed the flavor of the leaves diminishes greatly. Here is how to prevent it.
Cut stems at first sign of flowering
Basil flowers form a large bud compared to plant size, which makes it very easy to tell when flowers are about to develop. At first sign of flower development cut the stem about 1” directly bellow the developing flower.
Harvest top 1/3 of each stem
After first sign of flower development it is time to harvest the top 1/3 of each stem. This practice will cause the plant to revert back to growth mode and get out of flowering mode for a short period of time.
Harvest leaves often
If the plant is prevented from developing flowers it will grow rather rapidly. Because of this rapid growth the leaves should be harvested frequently. The frequent harvest will also encourage even more rapid growth!