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Container Herbs for Dummies =)

Posted by aightball NW Central Iowa (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 28, 07 at 19:18

Is there a website for beginners that has pictures of when to harvest? I know that my cilantro can be harvested at any time, but am not sure about my other things. Everything looks like it's growing well, but how do I know when to harvest?

I'm growing oregano, parsely, cilantro, sage, rosemary, garlic chives, thyme, and lemon mint.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Container Herbs for Dummies =)

Check out the HERBS forum...

Here is a link that might be useful: Herbs forum

RE: Container Herbs for Dummies =)


Isn't it great to have herbs in containers? I keep mine right by the kitchen door!

You can harvest any of those any time. (That's part of the beauty of herbs --- they're always there waiting, so you can cut them fresh when you need them.)

If you started with seed or small seedlings, you want to be careful not to harvest too much at a time while the plants are still young if you want to still have some around --- I would say don't cut more than 25% off of a plant for the first few weeks. But I cut a few little leaves off of my parsley the day I planted it.

The only other caution I would give is that for a few herbs there are advantages to harvesting before they flower.

In my experience, sometimes chives change flavour a bit once they have flowered (Ken is the expert on chives --- see what he thinks.) Get a bit sharper But they're still good.

My cilantro gets all stringy after it goest to seed, so I try to harvest it before or shortly after it flowers. (This is a pain because usually this is before my tomatoes are ready, so the two are never ready at the same time for salsa!)

You don't have basil on your list --- it is the one herb I find you have to watch most carefully. It changes its flavour quite a bit when it flowers, so you really want to harvest it before it bolts (flowering is called "bolting" if it's a plant that you don't WANT to flower!).

Other than that, just cut some when you need them!

At the end of the season, I harvest the whole rest of an annual herb and cut a good chunk of a perennial herb and dry them for use in the winter.

But nothing beats the fresh ones!



RE: Container Herbs for Dummies =)

Have you tried cutting some cilantro and freezing it for your salsa? I did this last year (froze in 1/4 c. size so it's perfect for Annie's Salsa recipe) and it's nearly as good as fresh in something like that!
We don't use cilantro for much of anything else except salsa (fresh and canned) and the occasional batch of burritos or guacamole.

And I second everything you said about the herbs!

I grow sage, lavender, oregano, rosemary, mints, thyme, chives. Went out last night AFTER our mashed potatoes had butter melting on them and snipped some chives for the top....mmmmm. It just doesn't GET any fresher than that!

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