How do I maintain Thai Basil ?

(Question)

I recently bought a Thai Basil plant, and it already has little flowers on the top. Should I be cutting these off?  A friend had some lettuce plants that grew very tall, almost 2′ high, and had flowers on the top, and he cut them off. What should I do to keep the plant growing properly?

(Answer)

Yes, you should be cutting the flowers off so the plant does not go to seed. The tips of the shoots should actually be pinched off to prevent flowering as it is the young leaves which are desirable for culinary use.  For more information on basil and other herbs check out Growing Herbs: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide at http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/index.php/factsheet/growing-herbs-a-toronto-master-gardeners-guide/