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Old July 29, 2008   #1
Tomstrees
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Default Saving Basil seed -

Hey everyone - hope all is well -

Quick question: how do I save basil seeds ???

Thanks, Tom
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Old July 29, 2008   #2
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Thoughout the season, I periodically cut or pinch basil plants back a bit to keep the fresh, tender new growth coming. I wait until towards the end of the season to let them go to seed, or the plants slow down and the foliage can get tough and bitter.

When the bloom spires start to brown up on the plants, I cut them off and shake over a paper plate to get the tiny seeds out. Then I let seed dry for a week or so before putting it up. Mature seed should be black.

Basil can cross pollinate, so if you are growing more than one variety, keep that in mind and try to put a little physical distance between the different vars if you can. I don't think it would be practical to try and securely bag those long bloom spires.
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Old July 30, 2008   #3
DeanRIowa
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Suze said, "I periodically cut or pinch basil plants back a bit to keep the fresh".

Where do you pinch them back exactly?

thanks,
Dean
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Old July 30, 2008   #4
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I could tell you BUT.

A picture is worth a thousand words so I will let this site do the talking.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/106/

Worth
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Old July 30, 2008   #5
Tomstrees
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Thanks everyone - I pinch mine back as well right at the growing tip of each plant to encourage lateral growth -

Out of 200 basil plants, I got 1 purple plant and I want to save seed from it - its really tastey ... will wait until the flowers turn brown ...

~ Tom
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Old July 31, 2008   #6
peispud
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OK, name your basils...

I have 14 varieties growing this year..
(growing for fresh seed for trading and for cooking)
Perfumo di Genova
ocimum oriental breeze
red rubin
*osmin
*ararat
*sacred
moulin rouge
purple opal
purple ruffles
siam queen
*blue spice
*genovese
mammoth
sweet

varieties with * are from ritchers seeds
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Old August 1, 2008   #7
Dewayne mater
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FYI, 4 years ago I grew an "Australian" basil plant. (1). That thing loved the Texas heat and at season's end, I just left it in the ground. The next year, probably 10 plants grew from the seeds that plant dropped. Now, every year I pull dozens of new plants from all over that bed and every year it reseeds itself many times over. This variety is virtually a weed, but it least it produced useable leaf (not as good as Genovese or even common sweet basil, but good as part of pesto) and it's flower is a beautiful dark purple leaf with light purple petals. All the rest of the leafs are green. If you find/plant one or more, I recommend it be in a container.
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Old August 7, 2008   #8
Suze
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanRIowa View Post
Suze said, "I periodically cut or pinch basil plants back a bit to keep the fresh".

Where do you pinch them back exactly?
Hi, Dean -- I'm not too exact about it; I just lop off a few inches of top growth when I think to do it or if I see the plants trying to start blooming or looking a bit lanky.
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Old June 26, 2015   #9
TexasTycoon
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Another good indicator for where to pinch before you ever see flower stalks is when you start to see the little leaves forming in a tight diamond pattern. Hard to describe, but take a look here:

(from https://roundrockgarden.wordpress.co...l-growing-tip/)

I have to pinch this way because it takes no time at all for my basil to start flowering in the Central TX heat. It's very easy to do, just check for that leaf pattern each day and pinch it off with your fingernails. Makes your hands smell nice, too.
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Old August 1, 2015   #10
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Here in Texas, putting some of the pinch backs in your car or truck makes it smell so good, too. Of course you end up wanting Italian food while driving, but that's not all bad either, LOL.

I also put rosemary in our vehicles at times.
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Old August 1, 2015   #11
JoParrott
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Greek Columnar Basil does not flower, and stays very upright and compact. It is also known as Aussie Sweet Basil- I have grown it for years. It roots easily in water. I have read that it can be perennial, but here that is not sure. It is the only basil I grow-I love it.
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Old August 3, 2015   #12
TexasTycoon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imp View Post
Here in Texas, putting some of the pinch backs in your car or truck makes it smell so good, too. Of course you end up wanting Italian food while driving, but that's not all bad either, LOL.

I also put rosemary in our vehicles at times.
Oh that is such a good idea, especially since my car smells like my two basset hounds most of the time!!
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Old August 3, 2015   #13
Gerardo
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A real simple way is to let it grow so that it gets "woody." I allowed a Genovese Basil plant to grow and it's been going for 3 years now, it's about 4-5 ft high, and it has over a dozen "arms." All woody for the most part. The only real green growth is at the end of the arms.
You take the flower stalk, secure with one hand at the base where those 3 clusters of leaves are, then pull with your other hand in the opposite direction and you can rip off about 15-20 flowers/seeds per stalk. Take 'em and throw 'em anywhere you'd like to see basil. I usually only get about 20-30% germ rate but who cares, when it's woody it's constantly putting out flower stalks.
And whenever you need any more seed just give it a boost of fertilizer and within a day or two you'll see dozens of those diamond patterns emerging.

As others mentioned, clipping a full flower stalk with the base leaves allows for a pleasant aromatherapy-car ride. And I second the Rosemary/Basil combo for vehicles, chips away at the road rage quite a bit.

Good luck!
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Old August 22, 2015   #14
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At season's end for us, I let the basil really flower out and set seeds; then as the seed pods are drying a bit, I uproot the entire plant, if small enough to handle, and stuff it upside down in a brown paper grocery bag.

Our local grocer has the handled paper bags, and these work great since they are good sized enough to get the "crown" of the basil in to the bag ( stems and root sometimes stick out) and I use the handles to hang the bags up for the pods to dry and break open into the bag.

If the bushy end/crown is too big, I whack a lot of it off nearer to the seed pods and drop them loosely into the bag and dry them.

Don't use plastic bags as the plant can get slimy and rot instead of dry.

I even use the bag method to let the leaves dry naturally and slowly and they come out nice for dried basil. This way, I can sort seed/chaff at my timing, and it makes my house smell good, too, when I go by and give the bag a little shake or thump it.

Then I have to go make a sandwich- smelling basil makes me hungry, LOL.

Last edited by imp; August 22, 2015 at 11:40 AM.
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Old September 6, 2015   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoParrott View Post
Greek Columnar Basil does not flower, and stays very upright and compact. It is also known as Aussie Sweet Basil- I have grown it for years. It roots easily in water. I have read that it can be perennial, but here that is not sure. It is the only basil I grow-I love it.
Jo I'm going to PM you. There are no seeds for this variety that I know of and it's not sold around here - I've searched high and low since reading about this in a thread last year. Propagation is only by cutting. You have a basil treasure there my friend.

- Lisa
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