There is nothing tastier than the flavors of summer married into a lovely salad of sun-ripened tomato, mozzarella cheese and basil. Of all of the herbs, basil has perhaps the most distinctive of scents and flavors. Once you find a variety of basil, you will want to grow it over and over again. The easiest way to do this is to save the seeds from those plants once the flowers bolt and go to seed.
Learn to harvest your own basil seeds and create an endless supply of basil in your own garden.
Saving these seeds is very easy and an economical way to ensure that you have you favorite variety in your garden, year upon year.
Easy Tips to Harvest and Save Seeds:
How to Harvest
Basil is pollinated primarily by insect pollinators. Basil is known for cross-pollinating. Isolating your favorite variety is important so that your seeds will grow and reproduce true to the original plant. Be sure to keep your favorites at least 100 feet away from any other varieties to ensure that no cross pollination occurs.
Once the plants go to seed, after blooming, you will find the seeds in the spent blossoms. You will want to collect the flower heads before the areas containing the seed open and disburse the seeds. Clip off the spent blooms and dry them out on some paper towels for several days in a warm and dry location. Once dry, you will crust the blooms into a colander and pick out the organic debris. The seed should fall through the holes into the colander where you can easily collect the tiny seeds.
Look at all these seeds you can get just from a few flowering basil leaves!
How Long Can You Keep The Seeds?
Proper storage is vital for storing any seeds and basil is no exception. How long do they keep? Correctly stored, your basil seeds should germinate for as much as four to five years. Be sure to label your seeds with the variety name and the date of collection. Always use the oldest seeds first. Keep them completely dry and in a dark location for best results.
How Do You Store Basil Seeds?
The best way to store any kind of seeds is in a glass jar with a solid lid. Freeze the jar containing the seeds for a few days to ensure that any insects, larvae or eggs will be killed off to protect your seed. Once you remove the jar from the freezer, store it in a dark and cool location.
Starting Your Basil Seeds
Be sure to carefully catalog your seeds and be ready to have the crop of the century! Start your seeds early in the spring in flat planting flats with the most scant covering of potting soil. Keep them moist and warm and set them out to harden off as soon as two to three sets of true leaves are evident.
Collecting the seeds from your favorite basil plants is the quickest way to ensure that your favorite flavors are saved for posterity and that your household supply of pesto is plentiful!