Herbs are the leaf part of a plant that is used in cooking – these can be used fresh or dried. Any other part of the plant, which is usually dried, is referred to as a spice. These include, for example, barks (cinnamon), berries (peppercorns), seeds (cumin), roots (turmeric), flowers (chamomile), buds (cloves), and stigmas of flowers (saffron).
Generally, fresh herbs are delicately flavored, so if adding them to your cooking, do so in the last few minutes. Tasting your dish as you go along will help you tell if you’ve added enough. If not enough herbs are used, then little difference will be made to the flavor of the dish, but if too many herbs are added, their flavor will overpower other ingredients.
When you think of mint, your mind may wander to toothpaste, chewing gum, or breath mints. Mint is a great herb to make your breath feel fresh and aid in all kinds of concentration or respiratory problems, but it is also a lovely addition to bring out the flavors in food and beverages!
How to harvest mint?
Mint may be one of the easiest herbs to harvest. You can pretty much harvest it whenever you want – they grow fast, spread fast, and bloom fast. All you need to do to harvest mint is pinch off the bit you want from the stems.
The twin of Oregano, Marjoram, is commonly mistaken for its counterpart but has a world of difference, including a much sweeter taste and aroma. Marjoram is extremely versatile and can be used in anything from sultry, pork, and sausages to custards, ice cream, and pies.
How to harvest marjoram?
Marjoram is ready to harvest around 4 to 6 weeks after it is planted. Like many other herbs, you will want to harvest when flower buds appear, but before they begin to open.
This beautiful plant is largely known for its delicious aroma that can be used for lotions, perfumes, and essential oils. Lavender has become a trendy herb to flavor cocktails or desserts in recent years.
How to harvest lavender?
It is best to harvest lavender when the flowers have not fully opened. Trim the plant in the morning when the morning dew has evaporated, so that the oils stay inside the plant – creating a greater chance for a stronger aroma and taste. Create a bunch, tie them together, and hang them to dry.
There are two varieties of parsley: Curly and Italian (or flat-leafed). The curly variety has more flexibility and fragility to it, making it the ideal herb to chop up and shred for cuisines. Parsley’s fresh, citrusy taste makes it a unique addition to smoothies, teas, or juices. What you may not know is that parsley is a member of the carrot family! Parsley can be harvested for the leaves and stem, as well as the root for deeper vitamin benefits.
How to harvest parsley?
Snip parsley from the ground level, to be sure to encourage further growth. You can use the herb immediately or put it in the refrigerator in a cup of water for later use.
An easy-to-grow perennial herb, chives love a lot of sunshine but will survive in partial shade. Classic on soups, baked potatoes, and family barbecues.
How to harvest chives?
Young chive leaves are the most tender and flavorful. When you harvest chive leaves, remove the entire length of the leaf. Don’t just snip off the tip, instead, snip off the whole leaf all the way down to the soil line. This encourages a flush of new growth.
Oregano is one of the most widely used herbs around the world. It has a pungent, spicy flavor that pairs well with almost any recipe.
How to harvest oregano?
Use a clean cutting tool or your hands to pinch or cut off the fresh stem tips. The top two-three inches of each stem offer the best flavor for fresh use. Cut back to just above a growth node or set of leaves, this will allow the plant to branch from the cut area and produce more flavorful leaves.
Thyme is one of the best-known and widely used herbs, grown as a culinary plant as well as a great addition to cocktails.
How to harvest thyme?
For the most flavor from your thyme, trim cuttings in the morning after the leaves are dry from any dew or moisture. When you are ready to harvest thyme, you can pinch or tear off leaves or stems. Take young fresh sprigs or leaves when you are harvesting. Avoid cuttings of the woody parts of the plant. Don’t take more than 1/3rd of the plant at any given time. Thyme thrives from come-and-cut again harvests of a sprig or two. This light-cutting method will stimulate growth into a full and bushy shape.
This herb is a drought-tolerant and hardy plant and is a beautiful addition to your favorite tea, cocktail, or culinary dish.
How to harvest rosemary?
The rosemary plant is hardy and produces a bountiful harvest in almost all climates. It can be harvested at any time throughout the year. Like most other herbs, the best time of the day to harvest is in the morning. Wait until the dew from the last night evaporates from the foliage. Collect the leaves before it gets too hot during the day. Look for branches that are at least 6 inches in height. It is best to harvest new tips or softer tips for fresh use, woody stems can offer some fresh use as well. Never trim more than ¼ of the plant at any given time to make sure your plant stays happy and healthy. Use sharp and sterile scissors to cut off the top 2 inches of the stem, leaving the rest of the stem’s length to encourage it to grow back fast and healthy.
This is an herb that is closely associated with fall dishes, but it is versatile and works in cocktails, smoothies, salads, pastas as well as poultry and beef dishes. Sage is a member of the mint family and presents a nice earthy flavor. It has long been regarded as a medicinal herb and has been used for years to cure a long list of ailments.
How to harvest sage?
When picking sage, consider whether you will be enjoying them fresh or hanging them to dry. For fresh use, simply pick off leaves as needed. For drying, cut off stems that are at least 4-6 inches long.
10- Lemon Balm:
Lemon Balm is a perennial herb that grows best in early spring. It looks like mint but is refreshingly lemony and the perfect addition to hot and cold beverages. Lemon balm has lemon-scented, oval, toothed leaves that are heavily veined or quilted from 2-3 inches long and arranged opposite one another on four-sided stems.
How to harvest lemon balm?
When you are ready to harvest lemon balm, cut each stem just above a pair of leaves using a sharp, clean pair of scissors or pruning shears. You can cut the plant down to within 4-5 inches of the soil. A good rule of thumb is to remove no more than two-thirds of growth at any one time.
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