When you grow basil, one of the needs you will come across would be to get big and busy plants. Such plants can deliver better yields to you at the end of the day. This is where you will need to have a clear understanding on how to trim basil to get an appropriate yield. In this article, we will share a comprehensive guide, which will assist you to learn how to trim basil, so that you will end up with getting a big and bushy plant.
Reasons to trim basil
If you are still not convinced, let’s take a look at the reasons on why you need to trim basil. Then you can proceed with trimming the plants, so that you can end up with getting an appropriate yield at the end of the day.
You can harvest basil leaves
Basil leaves are quite versatile, and you can add them to numerous dishes you prepare at home. Due to the same reason, you will come across the need to harvest basil leaves as well. For example, you may chop basil leaves and sprinkle them over pizza or pasta. Or else, it is even possible for you to toss basil leaves over green salads or fruits salads you prepare at home.
You can stimulate growth
When you trim basil plants correctly, you will be able to stimulate their growth as well. In fact, this is one of the most effective methods available for you to stimulate the plants and get them to be bushy and big. Once you trim the basil plants, they will go ahead and produce a fresh set of leaves. This would eventually double the overall amount of basil that the stem produces. When the stem continues to grow, it will be possible for you to pinch them, so that you will end up with doubling the production. Likewise, you can continue to make your basil plants bushy and big along with time.
You can remove flowers
As you trim basil plants, it will also be possible for you to remove flowers quite effectively. Most basil plants available out there tend to produce flowers. These are quite attractive flowers to bees. However, producing these flowers could slow down the overall vegetative growth rate of basil plants. This is why you will need to look for a way to get fewer flowers in the basil plants. When you remove flowers, it will be possible for you to get the job done.
When should you trim basil plants?
Now you are aware about the reasons on why you should trim basil plants. The next most important thing you should consider is when you should proceed with trimming the plants. We strongly recommend you start trimming basil plants when their seedlings are about seven inches tall. The plants should have around four leave sets along with them as well.
Once you start to trim basil plants, they will have a single stem. Therefore, you will be able to pinch the main step, so that you will be able to force the process of getting stronger side shoots. If you can remove around 1/3rd of the plant, you will end up with getting better returns at the end of the day. In other words, it has the potential to double the overall harvest that you can get. This is a simple and a hassle-free method that any person can follow.
How to trim basil plants?
Now let’s come to the steps you need to follow in order to trim basil plants and end up with stimulating their growth. You will be able to use herb snips, hand pruners, or even your fingers to trim basil plants. Out of these options, we strongly encourage you to think about using lightweight and compact snips. Or else, it is even possible for you to use your fingers and trim the top shoots or pinch flower buds of the plants. In case if you decide to cut the basil plants back hard, you will come across the need to use sharp pruners to get the job done. By using sharp pruners, you can make sure that you don’t tear the stem. In other words, you will not be damaging the plant, which can get the plant to be infected with disease-causing pathogens.
You should closely examine the basil plant before you proceed with pinching or clipping it. That’s because it is important for you to cut the central stems of the plant, so that you will end up with getting a lower number of leaves. In fact, you need to ensure that two small leaf buds would emerge out of the leaf axil after you trim the plants. This is the most convenient place available in the plant for you to proceed with trimming as well.
Once you decide the exact place that you would us to trim the basil plant, you should cut off the main stem at least quarter inch on top of the leaf buds. By doing this, you can preserve the plant for future use as well.
Steps to pinch out basil leaves
It is also important to learn the correct steps on how to pinch out basil leaves. By doing this, you can overcome stress that the plants go through. In other words, this will help you to get the plants to ensure faster growth.
You can simply use your hand to pinch the basil plants. As you pinch, you will also need to make sure that you provide consistent moisture, along with a well-drained soil. On top of that, you should be providing consistent sunlight as well. This will eventually help you to support growth of basil plants effectively.
Now you know how to proceed with trimming the basil plants. If you grow basil plants at home, this is something that you should do without ignoring. You can use the basil leaves that you trim on your meals and make them flavorful. However, you don’t have to consume them immediately because you can dry the leaves and preserve for an extended period of time. This is where a dehydrator can assist. Or else, it is even possible for you to freeze basil leaves and get them to last for a longer period of time.