Question: What’s the best way to prune and harvest an herb garden?
Luke C., Niwot, CO
Answer: Great question. With proper pruning/harvesting you can increase the yield, health and appearance of your herb garden. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, so I created a video to help you out. You can watch it here.
If you’re not a video person, the tips are summarized here:
Prune early and often, especially fast growing Basil.
Keep your lights as low as possible as long as possible. This means prune your fast growing tall plants to keep your lights within 4 inches of your smallest plant.
Prune horizontal growth so that it does not block light to neighboring plants. See the diagram below.
Always prune at a leaf joint, a leaf joint is the point of connection of a leaf with the stem from which a bud arises. See the diagram below.
Never prune more than a 1/3 of the plant at one time.
Pruning the newest growth of Basil plants will create more leaf growth and less stem growth.
To keep your Thyme and Mint plants bushy, remove the pieces that have long stems and few leaves.
Rotate the pods and put the fullest side of the plants out and the thinner side in towards the center of the garden.
Basil, Mint and Dill are fast growing plants and require more pruning than Thyme, Oregano, Parsley and Dill which are slower growing.
Cate manages AeroGrow’s 5,000 square foot Plant Research and Development Laboratory in Boulder, CO. Stop in to see us when you’re in Boulder! The Grow Lab is where AeroGrow does our formal plant testing and product development. Cate also grows all the plants for television commercials and time lapse photography.
Cate has grown tens of thousands of plants in AeroGardens and the Ask the Expert blog is her way of sharing that knowledge with other AeroGardeners.