baby basil thinnings … yum
I have tons of Italian basil seed saved from last year's crop. I sprinkled it thickly in 2 by 2 foot patches in the garden. I did the same with the seeds of a small leaf basil in an old pot. They came up so close that leaves were touching in the 4 leaf stage. Today I plucked some plants from the small leaf basil plant. They were elongated from being so crowded but very fragrant... about 3 inches tall. I clustered them together at the root level (they pulled out of the loose potting soil easily) and put the roots in a little vace to make a cute and fragrant arrangement. Basil is full of flavor from the seed leaf stage on. Harvesting these very young plants assured me of tender leaves. The Italian basil having been planted in soil was not as willing to let go and most broke off at the tender stalk. This thinning also freed up space for the adjacent plants to grow bigger. I think this would work well for indoor/winter fresh basil. It looks a lot like a miniature of the hydroponic basil sold in plastic sleeves in grocery store produce sections.