- Students will be able to describe how pruning affects plant growth and techniques for proper pruning.
Teach the Teacher
Tools & Materials
- 2 basil plants
- Pruning shears
- Spreadsheet for recording harvest data
There are countless varieties that are the set-it-and-forget-it type. You know, toss the seeds in the ground and then touch them very little until they are at peak ripeness and ready to harvest. Carrots, beets, and many other root vegetables fit in that category.
But there are also just as many plant varieties that benefit from a little TLC. Pruning is a key skill in the grower’s arsenal and it can be used to improve the sweetness of tomatoes, the yield of many herbs, or even as a method of harvest for cut-and-come-again varieties.
Basil plants respond very well to proper pruning. In fact, pruning basil allows the plant to develop more leaves and maximizes the production of the plant.
Compare the total production of pruned and unpruned basil plants. Start with two plants that are similar in size. Prune one on a regular basis and leave the other to develop without any pruning. Record the harvest weights from each pruning and compare the aggregate total to that of the single harvest for the other plant. How much more does the pruned plant produce?
This lesson, and all other lessons on this website, are intended for use by teachers in the classroom. These lessons are protected by US and International copyright laws. Reproduction or distribution of lesson content, supporting materials, or digital creative is prohibited with written permission from Modern Steader LLC.