I stopped reading the guidelines for when to pick herbs and started using my commonsense. When I did follow guidelines so many herbs in our garden were going unharvested and wasted while waiting for the end of the season or the “perfect” time – which may not even happen in our micro climate. By the end of the season the leaves are wind burnt from the hot summer winds, the branches often leggy, nothing at its prime.
Now I harvest after the first flush of Spring growth, leaving at least one third of the plant. And hopefully a second or third harvest as the summer days stretch out to Autumn and then again at the end of Autumn.
Lil and I will go about the garden harvesting here and there if we are expecting rain. The forecast this week is for rain each day, a good opportunity to give what we can a litttle prune by harvesting. It saves the plants from being top heavy, snapping or the leaves sopping wet from the rain and flopping over in the mulch. The plant spends the next week resting and reguvenating while getting a good soaking from the sky. Easy gardening.
Another reason why we harvest before it rains is, the rain then the warmth, the damp then humidity can quickly cause pest and disease issues on tender leaves.
Lots of lemon thyme, lemon balm, lemon verbena, chamomile in this harvest.
Plus a couple of little lavender springs, tiny miracles for a cold and wet Spring and early Summer.
Herbs will be used in homemade herbal tea blends.
Until next time,
December 14, 2022