Sunday, August 10, 2014
Plant in the background is past-its-prime basil, in front are new plants.
See the difference?
Over the course of the growing season, basil reaches a "woody" stage, at the time it begins to flower. Though the leaves are ok to use in cooking at this point, they are smaller, begin to turn yellow and brown, and their full basil flavor is diminished. This happens even if you regularly shear the plant to stimulate new growth. So, I buy extra seeds of basil and, every three weeks, I start a new pot or two. This keeps me in fresh, young basil leaves all summer long! The spent basil gets dumped in the compost heap.