How to Harvest Basil Seeds

This seed-saving thing is a lot easier than I thought! I was so excited when I figured out how to harvest basil seeds all by myself–no Google required.

Take that, Google!

If you’ve grown herbs at all, you’re probably familiar with the idea of pinching off the flowers before they spike. Once the flower spikes start growing, the leaves of the plant aren’t nearly as tender and delicious.

But, if you want seeds, let one plant grow its flower spikes. I got more seeds than I’ll need for next year out of just one flower spike, so you don’t need many!

Let the spikes dry on the plant to a crisp brown.

Pick the spike (or cut with scissors) and take inside. The basil seeds are so small that if it’s windy, they’ll blow right away from you. (I tried this while we were getting residual winds from Hurricane Sandy. Oops. :) )

Take the dried flowers off of the stem. Do this over a bowl to catch them and any seeds that pop out.

 

Each little flower will have some seeds inside. They’re tiny. (And very hard to photograph.)

Open the dried flower and brush the seeds out. Enjoy the scent of basil that will waft through the room. Ahhhh…better than a candle!

Save the little black seeds and plant them next year! I suggest starting them indoors and transplanting to the garden later.

Do you like basil? If you’ve never tried fresh basil, you’ve got to put it on your to-plant list next year. It’s so much tastier than the dried stuff!

 

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