Friday, August 24, 2012

Flowering Herbs

Confession: I let my basil plant flower

I know, I know.... you are supposed to clip the buds as soon as they start to show so that the plant's energy can be devoted towards creating pungent herb leaves instead of the flowering buds but they are just too pretty. I wait until they are long enough to clip and put into a vase. 

So, I do eventually cut them back, just not right away. 

Check out this cool grid I found on GardenWeb that shows how to handle each herb:

Remove buds and flowers to prolong flavorful lifeBasil, salad burnet, garden sorrel
Remove buds to increase harvestGarlic
Decline after flowering (but no use trying to stave off the inevitable)Cilantro, chervil (annuals); parsley (biennial)
Let them bloom!
Thyme, sage, rosemary, sweet marjoram, mint, chives, garlic chives, borage, rocambole garlic, curry leaf, bay laurel, Greek myrtle
    Teabergamot (bee balm), anise hyssop, lavender
Cut back after flowering (primarily for neat appearance)Oregano, lovage

 I am usually pretty good about keeping my cilantro trimmed but it's nice to let it flower once a year (towards the end of summer) so you can harvest the coriander seeds. 

On a side note, my homegrown strawberries are looking amazing (if I don't say so myself). Look how gorgeous they are inside! You never get to see this kind of beauty with store-bought berries. 

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