Harvesting of herbs implies cutting or cropping of the herbs to encourage more growth. However, if you desire the best growth from your herb garden, and at the same time, controlling its shape and size, then you must know how to harvest herbs to promote growth.
There are other ways by which you can promote the growth of your herbs, including proper care and watering. However, the key to its growth and yielding of many fresh, healthy fruits comes from harvest techniques.
There’re various herbs with different harvesting techniques. We will scrutinize them one after another.
How to Harvest Herbs to Promote Growth
As we earlier said, different herbs come with a bit more different harvest skill which is ascertained by their various growth habit, life cycle, and branching pattern.
Therefore, with proper harvest, proper growth is achieved. Let’s discuss the best harvesting techniques for some of the famous herbs around.
1. Basil Herb
Basil is an annual herb in the mint family. If not harvested, it will grow from seed, produce flowers, and proceed to be a seed in less than two months.
To prevent the above occurrences, follow the steps below;
- Before harvest, ensure herb is duly watered a night to the harvest morning to soak up water, thus making the leaves durable.
- Harvest should be done during the dawn of a new day immediately after the morning dew has dried up. At this time, the herbs have started budding when the flowers are soon to blossom.
- Harvest the herb by pinching each stem over the upper second set of leaves. Here, it’s either you cut the edge of each of the branches in a week or the whole plant just over the second set of leaves once a month.
- Again, try to cut off any umbel or raceme on flowers immediately.
2. Chives Herb
Chives are clumping perennial onions that grow faster in spring and summer. Harvest them just above the soil line monthly, and they will regrow all through the season.
Below are the steps of harvesting them to promote their growth.
- When you discover that its leaves are too enormous, you can grip and use them.
- After gripping the leaves, you collect them into one bunch and cut, using sharp blade scissors.
- Be careful not to clip the leaves nearer to the bulb, leaving not less than ½ inch space from the bulb and above the soil line, or it would stop them from growing again.
- Ensure your first cutting is done outside the bunch.
3. Rosemary Herb
Rosemary is woody perennials or shrubs, which come with fresh or evergreen foliage. The best flavor and texture for cooking are found in their tender, flexible stem tips.
Below are their best harvesting tips to ensure proper growth.
- First of all, the tip of the 6-inch branch should be harvested from late winter to autumn for outright use or drying.
- During cutting, ensure it doesn’t extend into the woody or leafless stems.
- Cut back of one-third of established shrubs should be done in the early planting season to ensure rejuvenation of the herb while also energizing many of its shoot production.
4. Parsley Herb
Parsley is a biennial herb that grows from seed the first year, followed by flowers before it gets to seeds.
Check out the best harvesting techniques for parsley herbs.
- First of all, you have to be patient for the stems to develop about three parts.
- Keep harvesting until the color of the plant fades. Most times, it fades during the autumn or early spring. If it is growing outdoors, harvest the entire plant before the first frost hits.
- Ensure you harvest from the root of the plant, as it will inspire further growth.
- Cut leaves from the external parts first, as it will enable your plant to concentrate on growing new leaves from the middle.
- Do not remove too many leaves from the wrong area of your parsley; it will prevent it from receiving direct sunlight, which is necessary for its continuous growth.
5. Oregano Herb
Oregano is a perennial stunted growth, woody, deciduous herb. It has this habit of spreading and a thin woody system, making it a little challenging when harvesting it.
Below are the essential techniques for harvesting:
- This harvest should be carried out when the morning dew has dried, on a warm morning to be precise, when the oils and ingredients are concentrated the most.
- Ensure you harvest just as the flower buds are emerging.
- You should do your cutting just above the growth node or the base of a specific group of leaves to enable the plant to grow new branches from the cut part.
- Throughout the growing season, try to harvest at least two or 3-inch stem tips as required for culinary use.
6. Cilantro Herb
Cilantro is a perennial herb that can sometimes grow uncontrollably. Harvesting techniques are as follows;
- It needs to be harvested weekly to avoid bolting or making the herb go to the seed stage.
- Endeavor to trim the entire stem close to ground level. However, be mindful of cutting the middle stem.
- Try to harvest the outer leaves first to allow the fresher inner leaves proper growth.
- Endeavor to harvest only 1/3 of your cilantro herb at once.
7. Thyme Herbs
Thyme is an evergreen herb. From the name alone, you know it’s a popular herb used for food flavor. Its harvesting is done annually, during the early spring or fall.
Like many other woody, stemmed herbs, the best time for its harvest is before it blossoms.
Check out the proper harvesting methods that can promote growth;
- Let your harvest be done in the morning after the dew has dried up.
- Endeavor cutting the stems before the growth node. It will facilitate growth and enable the continuous supply of fresh, delicious thyme.
- You can also elect to tie the wooden stems together and toss the entire bunch into your recipe, especially when you’re cooking a soup.
As discussed earlier, different herbs have different pruning or harvesting methods, which you must follow to promote their growth.
It is straightforward, though. It all depends on the particular type(s) you are growing and then know its harvesting method. Only then will you be sure of proper growth.