Fresh Herb Care

Looking for some guidance on herb care once you've brought your fresh Freeman Herbs home? You've got a few options;

 

1. Leave your potted herb in its original pot to use directly in your home. Take the plastic protective sleeve off of pot, place your pot onto a saucer so as not to soak any of your furniture.  Keep moist BUT do not overwater - do not soak. Trim herb leaves as needed for your cooking. Make sure to place your herb in a spot that gets sun!

2. You can transplant your pot into a larger pot, that has drainage. Follow the same care instructions as above.

3. Want to plant your herbs outside with your veggies? Here are some steps you can follow for our main line of culinary herbs!

BASIL

BOTANICAL NAME: Ocimum basilicum

PLANT TYPE: Herb

SUN EXPOSURE: Full Sun

SOIL TYPE: Loamy

 

  • Make sure that the soil is moist. Basil plants like moisture. If you live in a hot area, use mulch around the basil plants (the mulch will help keep the soil moist).

  • Make sure to pick the leaves regularly to encourage growth throughout the summer.

  • After 6 weeks, pinch off the center shoot to prevent early flowering. If flowers do grow, just cut them off.

  • If the weather is going to be cold, be sure to harvest your basil beforehand, as the cold weather will destroy your plants.

 

HARVEST/STORAGE

  • After the seedlings have their first six leaves, prune to above the second set.

  • Every time a branch has six to eight leaves, repeat pruning the branches back to their first set of leaves.

  • The best time to harvest is right when the plant starts to bud (before the flowers bloom).

  • Basil is most pungent when it is fresh.

  • If pruned regularly, twelve basil plants will produce 4 to 6 cups of leaves per week.

  • The best method for storing basil is freezing. Freezing will prevent the plant from losing any of its flavor. To quick-freeze basil, dry whole sprigs of basil and package them in airtight plastic bags.

  • Another storage method is drying the basil (although some of the flavor will be lost). Pinch off the leaves at the stem and place them in a well-ventilated and shady area. After 3 to 4 days, if the plants are not completely dry, place them in the oven on the lowest heat setting with the door slightly open. Remember to turn the leaves (for equal drying) and check them frequently.