Saving basil seeds

22 Feb

My basil has been loving the heat and humidity over the past few months. I love it in pasta sauces and stuffed in chicken, but most of all I love it in a simple Caprese salad. That’s the perfect taste of summer to me. Yesterday I cut my plant down significantly and made some pesto. Such a simple combination of ingredients, yet packs such a flavour punch! I love the wonderful vivid green hue of fresh pesto in the jar. Much nicer than the dull green of the shop-bought stuff.

Basil flowers - dry and ready for seed saving

My basil has been growing faster than I can use it, and it is bolting to seed. I have pinched out some of the flower heads to extend the season, but I let some of it flower so I could save the seeds to plant again. You can see in this picture that the flowers in the foreground have dried out and gone brown. This is what you want to see before starting to save the seeds. In the background you can see the green flowers just after the white blossom have fallen off – the seeds in those flowers won’t be ripe yet.

Basil seeds for planting next year

All you need to do is pick the brown flowers off the stem, the roll them between your fingers to break the pods open. Each segment should yield between 2 and 4 seeds. After you have a reasonable quantity of seeds saved, leave them to dry out further for a few days before saving them in in an envelope or a small zip lock bag. Best to keep them in the fridge (like all your seeds) because they last longer.

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