The Garden Gator Guide to Harvesting your Herbs
After you have followed this guide on how to plant and care for your herbs from seeds, you will be able to watch your herbs grow into mature plants. You can find all of the tools that you need to care for your plants in the Garden Shed (blue sidebar on the right side of the page).
Be sure not to remove to many leaves at one time. If you stick to this rule, your herbs will regrow quickly. By only picking a few leaves at a time, it will allow you to continue harvesting your herbs throughout the summer!
To harvest, you will want to snip off the amount of herb that you wish to use for your culinary dishes. By only taking what you need, you will be able to get multiple harvests from one plant.
Throughout the summer, snip plants regularly to encourage branching and new growth. Harvest successive cuttings whenever you need fresh herbs. Generally, cut no more than one third of the stems length.
Gather herbs early in the day, before the sun bakes the plants essential oils. Cut the stems at their peak, when the flowers start to form.
To prepare leafy stems for use in cooking, strip the leaves off the stems by sliding your thumb and forefinger from top to bottom. Snip off thicker leaves which don't strip easily, such as those of parsley, bay or tansy, using a knife or scissors.
Interview with Herb Gardener:
Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Firefly Farm Owner and Manager, Kathleen. The Garden Gator gives you tips on how to harvest herbs from your garden.