Harvesting Herbs

Fresh herbs and flowers taste so much better when they are gathered from plants grown by your own endeavor — and you know they are free from any additives or artificial preservatives.
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Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Flowers

As they are very fragile and crush easily, pick only a few at a time. Collecting into a white container should enable you to discard any unwanted creatures. Only gather flowers from plants in your garden.

Leaves

Leaves are at their most flavorsome when fresh, but bunches can be picked for later use. You can use trimmings when pinching out or offcuts when pruning, but remember that over-collecting may weaken the plant.

Seeds

Seeds are easy to collect when ripe, but waiting too long results in the birds feeding well. Cut off almost-ripe seedheads and place in a brown paper bag in a warm dry space until fully mature and ready to drop.

Berries

Avoid picking berries when they are still wet after rain and only gather a few of them at a time as they can be easily squashed or spoiled. Keep a close eye on their color and ripeness or you will miss the crop entirely.

Roots

These can be very messy to gather and it is vital to make sure you are only harvesting the roots from a known herb. Keep some of the identifiable foliage intact when lifting the roots and when washing off the soil.