Growing Green, Harvest, Uncategorized

Saving Basil Seeds

Did you know how easy it is to save basil seeds?  They are tiny, but can be easily saved so you don’t have to keep buying new seed packets every spring.

Saved Basil Seeds

At the end of the growing season, let the plants flower (go to seed) instead of keeping the flowers pinched off.  Then let the plants die when the frost comes.  Don’t pull them up.

Dead Basil Plant in the Late Fall

When you have time (and they are good and dead) take a pair of scissors and just cut off the flowered parts.  They look like this and are found at the tips of the stems.

Dried Basil Flowers

They should be dried.  If they are not yet dried, let them sit out on the counter for a few days.  Then, when they are dried, pluck off the tiny dried blossoms and rub them between your finger and thumb gently to tear the blossoms apart.  There should be 1-4 seeds in each blossom.  They generally fall out of the dried flowers when they are crushed and aren’t damaged if you are gentle. In this picture the seeds are tiny black specks and the rest of the flower parts can be discarded.

Separating the Basil Seeds from the Dried Flowers

The seeds are very, very small.  It will seem like you haven’t done hardly anything, but keep in mind that each seed should grow a nice basil plant.  Keep the seeds in a cool, dry place until next season.  I often use old baby food jars to keep my seeds and it works great.  Then add some fresh soil and replant – generally in the same pot you used last season, because some of the seeds will have fallen out of the flowers on their own and reseeded themselves already in the pot.  It just makes it easier to use the same pot again.  Happy gardening!

Kate

 

 

 

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