A Portable Herb Garden & How To Pick Basil

One of my greatest little pleasures in life is having fresh herbs at my fingertips. Clare and I took advantage of the beautiful weather this weekend and got our hands dirty. This portable planter is from FOODMAP DESIGN and we love it for it’s modern look and portability (and they are having a 20%off sale right now) but you could easily make something similar at home… or, ya know, just use some pots. But trust me, there is nothing like having Sweet and Thai Basil, Oregano, Thyme and Sage ready and waiting. Oh and Mint too, but keep that in a separate pot, it spreads like a weed!

I’m sure all of you Prudent Mamas are in the know on the best way to pick your basil plant for optimum production but if this tip is new to just one of you, it was worth it!

Check out how to pick basil after the jump.
The most important thing to know is that you want to pick off whole stems, not just leaves, for your basil to flourish! Also, the more frequently and further down the stem that you pick, the better.

Look down one of your stems and you will see smaller leaves on either side of the stem. You should pinch your stem right above a set of those leaves. Those smaller leaves will become two new shoots where there was previously just one. In the photo below you can see a set of small leaves even further down below my fingers, it would have been even better to pinch there.

And if you don’t need your basil yet, I would still suggest pinching it back to encourage new growth. More divided stems! The more stems, the more basil! The more basil, the more pesto! you get my drift.




This post couldn't have come at a better time. I just started basil in a jiffy greenhouse on my window sill and will be putting it in a pot soon. I've never grown it from seeds before so hopefully it'll turn out ok and thrive! Thanks for the advice…I'll be following this!


thank you for this. everyone says basil is so easy to grow but i kill it every single time always for my entire adult life. can't wait to give it another shot because it is the most delicious of all the herbs.


Mmmm basil and pesto…
I also kill my basil.. well, the spider mites and aphids don't like to leave my plants alone.


Thank you so much for this post! My basil is doing well for the first time because I am pruning it correctly. I am loving it!


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