Basil seeds are so easy to save, that there’s really no good reason not to. They’re incredibly small, so storage isn’t an issue, and think of all the basil that you can grow from your very own seed. I like to think of my ancestors when it comes to saving seed. That’s what most of them did, not just to save money, but because seed companies and Amazon weren’t just dropping off packages on their doorstep in two days. Ha! Saving seed helps me to feel more self-sufficient, and that’s always a good thing.
Basil seed can also be use not just for growing more basil, but there are health claims about consuming basil seed. I’m clearly not a doctor (and I’ve never played one on tv), but the Faddy Eater at the Guardian tried some popular methods of consuming basil seeds, and you can r ead his trials here.
How to save basil seeds
There are two different ways to save basil seeds. The first involves letting your plants go to seed and dry out outside. This is easy for us to do since we live in the hot south. For this, I simply let our basil plants bolt (bloom) and once those blooms turn brown, I’ll harvest the seeds. To do this, I run my hand down the stem, collecting the seed heads. Then break them open to reveal the tiny black basil seeds inside. It’s very low-key and simple. (See the video at the bottom for how to do this.)
You can also cut your long basil bloom stalks off and bring them indoors. Set them on a paper plate or a paper towel. Give them several days to a week to completely dry out on your counter or table. Once the blooms are dried, remove the seeds as mentioned above and store. I have a video below showing you how to remove the tiny black basil seeds for the flower heads.