solar grass
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 6:45 am

How to harvest herbs

So, I am growing a few herbs in containers. My first attempt! I have Basil, and chives, Rosemary and Mint.

My question relates to how you harvest them.

Is it better to take the new shoots and leaves from the top of the plant?

Or should you take the larger, lower leaves?

I've been taking the lower leaves, because they were bigger, and I thought it wouldn't stop the plant from growing upwards... but I'm noticing now that the stems on the bottom of the plants are getting a bit 'spindly'.

Can anyone advise the correct method?


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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Marlingardener is always right :) , but she is talking about well established plants. If yours are seedlings or still pretty small, I'd be a little more careful. The basil, especially when it is young, I cut from the top and just take the top 2 pairs of leaves from each stem. It will branch out at that point and get bushier. Also once the basil gets going, it will start sending up flower spikes. You don't want to let it flower. The more energy it puts in to flowering (and especially if it starts setting seed), the less it puts in to making more basil. So cut back every stem that starts flowering.

The bigger and healthier and happier your basil is, the more you can take from it...

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