It is time for pinching your summertime basil, says Tom. Here is more of his sage, I mean basil-ey advice.
"With August summer and sun, my basil has really taken off. Other than a modest amount of watering, weeding and occasional fish fertilizer, my thoughts turn to pinching at this time of year when it comes to maintaining my basil plants."
"First, this means pinching the top leaves from the main stem when my basil plant becomes 6-8 inches tall. This will cause the basil plant to branch out and become bushier."
"Secondly, this means you should pinch any and as many florets that develop on your basil plant. Untouched, this will only encourage your basil to bolt instead of energy towards leaf production. It can take a good deal of time to find and pinch florets as basil tends to grow lots and lots of florets."
"Just be sure not to throw away the florets when you are done! Chopped up roughly, basil florets make a great ingredient for salad dressings, marinades and pasta dishes since florets have a high concentration of basil oils. Yum!"
Thank you Tom for your great advice, we are so glad the weather has warmed up enough to keep the pesky slugs at bay and to give our basil plants a chance to really take off!
See Tom's photo below, this is precisely the time in which to start pinching.