A few questions about harvesting herbs (completely new!)
Hey everyone :)
I've used herbs for a long time..I'm a big fan of herbal teas, etc..however, I've always used dried herbs I've bought from our (excellent) natural food store. This year I decided to tackle growing some!
I bought starters from our local farmers market, and planted them in large pots. I have chamomile, purple basil, lemon basil, peppermint, spearmint, and Catnip.
My main thing is I'm not sure when to harvest most of them. Chamomile I've learned to pinch off the flowers once they are open and dry those. Peppermint and Spearmint I think I understand when to harvest..but the two basils i'm not sure.
My purple basil is about 8-9 inches tall..I noticed the top had a "cluster" of small leaves and flowers growing..i snipped that small cluster off..which had some leaves and flowers. I plan to dry the leaves and use them! I was told that you dont want them to flower..so thats why I did that. Was that the right thing to do?
Secondly, my lemon basil is still rather small..only about 4 inches, yet there's already white flowers blooming on it..with similar clusters of small leaves. Shut I cut those off, or pinch the flowers off..even though it's still small?
And lastly..just a general question about growing herbs..is there a certain height the plant should be before harvesting? I'm never really sure..and I'm always uneasy when I think about taking anything. My mint is about 10 inches tall..it's growing fast..is it safe to cut some from that?
Appreciate the help!