Leaf production slows or stops on any stem which flowers, so you should pinch off any flower stems to keep the plant in production, or pinch off some stems while leaving others to bloom for decoration or seeds. Once you do let the plant flower, it will produce seed pods containing small black seeds which you can save and plant the following year. Picking the leaves off the plant helps promote continuouse growth, largely because the plant responds by converting pairs of leaflets next to the topmost leaves into new stems.
Companion planting Basil planted near tomatoes, peppers, oregano, asparagus, and petunias can help these plants repel or distract asparagus beetles, mosquitoes, thrips, and flies, and is said to make tomatoes taste better. Planting chamomile or anise near basil is said to increase the essential oils of basil.
So you have the basil what to cook with it? Here is a recipe for allrecipes.com
Basil Vinaigrette Dressing
"Easy to make vinaigrette dressing especially good with summer salads."
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, basil, and garlic. Pour over or toss with your favorite salad to serve.
I will try some of this as I am planting tomatoes into containers will add a basil plant to that. Keep the basil picked and the seed heads off to keep it growing. Till next time, Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa