pinching basil

What exactly does pinching basil mean? I know what a pinch is, meaning to compress painfully, or a small amount.
Someone told me to pinch basil. And the only thing that comes to mind is to pinch and twist but what exactly is pinch ? Online references mention to pinch basil, but I can't find a detailed definition on what it exactly means.
Thanks in advance.
--
Jim Carlock
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wrote:

It means to prune the end of the growing tip. This will cause more branches and more leaves. "Pinch" means to use the thumb and forefinger to remove the pair of small leaves at the top of the plant. BTW, I have more basil than I can supply the entire neighborhood. I guess it was all those fish emulsion feedings I did last spring/summer.
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So snipping with scissors will work?
As far as pulling the leaves off... should they be cut off. Cut the top leaves off ?
Thanks much.
--
Jim Carlock
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On Sun, 5 Sep 2004, Phisherman wrote:

I thought maybe this referred to the flowers too no? Mine keeps trying to flower. I hear that if you allow them to bloom the leaves will become bitter?
My basil is growing like crazy too. I have started making salads with basil leaves and not bothering with lettuce. potent salads!
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On Sun, 5 Sep 2004 18:10:42 -0400, David Kotschessa

Flowers too. I could not keep up with my basil and it is flowering like crazy. The plants have grown 4 feet tall ! It is drawing honey bees and hummingbirds to my yard. I just picked several fresh basil leaves, mixed them into raw vegetables with garlic oil and grilled the mix over hot hickory coals--I could hardly detect the basil. I found the dried basil to be stronger.
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On Sun, 5 Sep 2004 18:10:42 -0400, David Kotschessa

Once basil begins to flower, it puts most of its energy into growing seed. "Pinching back" refers to removing the emerging flower buds before this process becomes well advanced. I've never tried to snip off tips of branches *without* flower buds. It *does* seem to me that once a bud is left to become a bloom stalk, the basil really gets the idea that seeds are its goal. If I just pinch off the little bud cluster, often 2 more form there immediately, so I pinch/snip the stem with a couple of pair of leaves. This is more likely to make the plant forget about seeds and put out branches with more leaves for a while.
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Jim Carlock wrote:

Pinching a plant means to remove the growing tip of a shoot. I use my thumb nail against my index finger to cut off the tip.
If you do this to young basil, it makes the plant bushy. You get many shoots and leaves. I have enough in a 10 inch pot that I throw a bunch of basil leaves into the water when cooking pasta. Chopped fine with a sharp knife, basil is a good herb to add when making a cheese omelette.
As the plant grows, pinch away the flower buds before they open. The buds are bitter and should not be used in cooking. More important, basil is an annual. Once it actually flowers, it starts to die. By removing the flower buds before they open, you can keep it going until a frost kills it.
Also, when picking basil for cooking, cut a stem with leaves. Remove the leaves in the kitchen and discard the stem. By cutting the stem, you encourage even more growth of the plant.
--

David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/
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Why didn't you ask "someone" what it meant at the time they said it?
"Pinching" is removing the terminal growing point of the plant so that it will branch. Its cutting the plant back by hand.
What did you think it meant? Stealing plants or grabbing their little hinies?

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I gave the guy my best stupid look and he asked me back if I knew what he was talking about, I indicated "I don't have a clue"...
He showed me what the pinch was, but I didn't understand what was going on. He indicated that pinching the plant makes it grow more leaves. From the reply of folks, cutting leaves makes more leaves, and pinching the tops is just to nip the flowers and in doing so keep the basil from dying. If the basil doesn't die, it'll obviously produce more leaves. :-) More leaves is relative. If something else can be done to produce more leaves, is "more leaves" "more leaves"? Which "more leaves" is really "more leaves"?
It's always good to get more than one opinion. With that I'll make like a tree and leave. Thanks.
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Jim Carlock
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You still haven't gotten it.
You are not cutting leaves, you are removing the apical growing point on the stem.
"Pinching" or cutting back the stems cause the plant to grow more branches. The branches have the leaves on them.
You are also confusing opinion with fact.

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Ahh, gotcha!
I can see where that happened with an orange tree that was chopped down. The stump has grown a bunch of new branches. They are all growing straight up from the stump that was left. They are bearing a few fruit this year.
Would that work corn as well? :-) I have a bunch of corn stalks growing outside that are all turning brown. I'm sure the squirrels or rats or possum in the neighborhood would love to see some more corn on them. Under the brown wrapper they are still alive. But they are getting weaker and weaker and browner and browner. :-) One of the first I've planted I tried to pull straight up from the ground, but it's roots were well dug in. I ended up twisting and breaking the stem and noticed that it appeared alive on the inside, had a strong smell of corn in the stem.
Frances got one of the corn stalks today. But that was the only damage. It was the very first stalk I seeded in May. One larger tree branch broke and a few small branches fell.
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Jim Carlock
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Why didn't you ask "someone" what it meant at the time they said it?
"Pinching" is removing the terminal growing point of the plant so that it will branch. Its cutting the plant back by hand.
What did you think it meant? Stealing plants or grabbing their little hinies?

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Speaking of Basil, will it come back every year or do you have to replant it? Zone 8A..
wrote:

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Basil is an annual. You do the math!!!

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Pinch in this context means to pinch off some small parts, pinch them with your fingernails until they break off. I don't know which part you are supposed to pinch off. You would pinch off leaves in order to use them or flowers to keep the plant growing.

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The bandwagon has left long ago.
You can go back to pinching off a log, Ander.

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