There are numerous basil plant varieties in our garden. Sweet basil is not only my favourite variety but also herb.
Lately I have been picking off the flower heads from the basil, so it continues putting it’s growing energy into the edible leaves (and not growing flowers). The objective is to extend the growing season of the plants.
However I have allowed one of my sweet basil plants ‘go to seed’ – which basically means allowing the flowering to continue. Then the stalks and flowers will soon turn woody. It is at this point you can pick the ‘woody flowers’ which encloses the seed.
You can collect and save the seed for planting next season. I am allowing many seeds to remain on the plant as an experiment with self seeding – the wind blows the seed about and hopefully sweet basil will be growing by itself next year without me planting any seeds (all our cherry tomatoes grew from self seeding this year).
In conclusion you don’t have to dig out your basil or herbs when they go to seed – they have a purpose and you have exciting gardening options.