Fresh herbs from the garden season dishes twice as well. The time of harvest has a great influence on taste and aromas. Find out how to properly harvest your herbs here. There are a few things that are critical to properly harvesting herbs. Time of day, weather, and season, for example, have a significant influence on the ingredients. The way of harvest, on the other hand, plays an important role in ensuring that your herbs continue to thrive.
When is the best time to harvest herbs?
Freshly harvested herbs taste best. Fortunately, evergreen herbs can be harvested year-round. Especially in the cold season, a little fresh rosemary ( Rosmarinus officinalis ), sage ( salvia ), or thyme ( thymus ) is a welcome change. Since these herbs have stopped growing in the winter months, you should of course not be too rigorous when harvesting and only cut off a little fresh green from time to time.
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The harvest becomes more productive in spring. Then everything starts to sprout and you can strike properly with a clear conscience. Even summer green and annual herb species can now be harvested. The time before flowering is best for this – this is when the aroma content is highest. At the time of flowering, on the other hand, the plant begins to concentrate all of its energy on flowering. This also reduces the aroma content. However, you can still harvest many herbs such as thyme or basil during or after flowering. Then they are a little less aromatic, but still more intense than dried herbs. However, some deciduous herbs such as parsley or wild garlic should no longer be cut after flowering, as they then store unhealthy substances in their cells.
But the time of day and the weather also influence the taste of your herbs. The plants that have enjoyed a lot of suns and little water in the last few days have a particularly high amount of aromatic substances. Herbs that have been harvested after a series of sunny days taste the most intense. For most of them, they should indeed be harvested in the morning, as soon as the last dew has dried. Some assume that the attraction of the moon also has an influence on the ingredients of the herbs, and therefore harvest according to the lunar calendar. Accordingly, herbs should be harvested during the waxing moon.
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But the time of harvest is not the only decisive factor for flavors and ingredients. Above all, the weather and the substrate are important. And since you can hardly change the weather, you should pay special attention to the earth. Special herbal soils from our offer your herbs optimal conditions so that they can fully develop their aroma. Our herb and seed-soil in organic quality is humic and has a pH value in the acidic to neutral range – just right for your herbs. In addition, the earth is a product that is particularly climate-friendly in production, as it is completely peat-free and organic. Your herbs will find the perfect conditions.
Harvesting herbs properly: instructions
The term “herb” is very extensive. Numerous plant species are summarized under this term. Nevertheless, some general rules for harvesting can be drawn up:
- Always use clean, sharp tools such as a knife or scissors for harvesting. The herbs can then quickly close the wound and are less susceptible to pathogens.
- For the highest aromatic content, harvest herbs on a sunny morning.
- Herbs that are harvested before flowering taste best. Some species such as wild garlic ( Allium ursinum ) or parsley ( Petroselinum crispum ssp. Crispum ) even store unhealthy substances from the time they bloom.
- Evergreen herbs can still be harvested even in winter. Then, however, rather hesitantly, because they stopped growing at this time of the year.
- Cut the shoots of woody species: Harvest the shoot tips of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ), thyme ( Thymus vulgaris), and Co. The leaves are particularly tender. In addition, the plants branch out and improve their growth habit.
- With basil ( Ocimum basilicum ) you should always cut off the entire tip of the shoot. This allows the plant to recover and sprout again. When individual plants are picked, the plant becomes bald and weakened. You can also delay flowering by capping the shoots.
- With many annual species such as parsley ( Petroselinum crispum ssp. Crispum ), you should first harvest the older leaves so that the plant still has sufficient healthy leaf surface.
- Chives ( Allium schoenoprasum ) can be rigorously cut at the bottom. It sprouts fresh and new. It also delays flowering. Before the plant moves in in autumn, you can harvest the rest of the chives completely and freeze them for the winter.
- The flowers of herbs are also usually edible and can be harvested. They are ideal as a decoration in salads and dishes.
If you don’t just want to use your herbs fresh, but also want to stock up on them for the winter, read this article on how to dry and preserve your herbs.