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I have 10-15 50cm tall lettuce basil plants hanging in large flower pots over my balcony. They are approx. 14 weeks old. I have for about 4 weeks now been cutting the tops of the plants or pinching whenever flowers have developed.

Assuming optimal environmental conditions, is there a limit to the amount of times I can continue to do this before the plant will die?

I am very happy with these plants and would like to produce and conserve seeds for next year but would like to delay this as long as possible.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You need at least 6 weeks between letting it flower and your first 'frost date', and 8 weeks would be safer, since, to some extent, the onset of colder weather is a bit of a moveable feast, well in the UK it is anyway. The plant needs time to set the flower, for pollination to occur, and seed to be produced.

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Thank you for your answer, I live in Montreal where we generally dont see frost until late October, though temperatures usually drop to an average of 10 degrees in late September. I guess my 8 weeks starts now then – jimmyjambles Jul 22 '12 at 17:25

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