How do you remember to harvest all of your herbs?

Gail H
Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Growing Medicinals

Life gets busy and sometimes I forget to harvest some of my herbs, especially the ones that aren't as showy and "in your face". I doubt that I could ever forget echinacea; it's right near the door and it's a dominant presence in that corner of the yard.

I'm not sure a calendar would work because these things don't go by strict dates. I need to come up with something, though. I was just outside and realized that I never harvested the bayberries!


  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You have got me wondering how I will remember to do mine. My first idea is to have a reminder list on my refrigerator because I keep forgetting that I have fresh herbs to cook with as well.

  • Jens the Beekeeper
    Jens the Beekeeper Posts: 651 admin

    @Gail H I don´t ;-)

    I try to harvest on a daily base for my cooking and if there is plenty I will harvest more to preserv it either dried (esp. mint and lemon balm) or choped and frozen in oil.

  • VickiP
    VickiP Posts: 586 ✭✭✭✭

    I generally don't forget to harvest, but I do forget to process, in other words I hang them to dry and forget about them. I need a 2 week timer or something.😕

  • nksunshine27
    nksunshine27 Posts: 343 ✭✭✭

    what helped me is planting all my herbs around in the lanscaping so to speak and remember when certain things are supposed to be harvested, like mullien grows along the house next to the sidwalk to the garden my plantain grows out by my raspberries and stawberries , also the dandelions, thats pretty much when i seee them where they arent supposed to be. I grow a lot of medicinal "weeds"

  • sallyhoward
    sallyhoward Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

    I like list reminders but usually go by observation. When I miss the ideal harvest time I console myself with letting it go to seed for next time.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This conversation inspired me to create the list for my refrigerator of all the herbs I am starting or already have available for use.

  • Leslie Carl
    Leslie Carl Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭

    I have my herbs interspersed throughout my garden and every day, I go out and work in my garden. So, it's easy for me to visually check them while I'm there.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    As @Leslie Carl mentioned, I also have most of my herbs planted interspersed among my regular garden so it's easy to see them as I walk thru or else I made a second bed right out my back door which I consider my culinary bed. So when I need something for the kitchen or a meal all I have to do is open the door and take a few steps to get it.

    My biggest obstacle though is getting them harvested on a timely basis when their oils are at their peak flavor. I have noticed over the years if you keep all of your herbs harvested around 12" or less, and also in the AM after the dew dries, the oils are more concentrated so you end up with more flavor. Some plants, like the mint family, lemon balm, oregano plus others just love to grow...Grow and GROW some more. So it might sound dumb but I now know if I won't have time to get them processed that day I'll just cut them back to less than a foot tall and throw them in the compost pile. The compost pile loves them, plus the plant will grow back really quickly anyway.

  • An
    An Posts: 42 ✭✭

    I make a calendar of foraging and harvesting dates each year. Knowing the approximate date of readiness then allows me to put an item on my weekly schedule. Usually works, but not always :)

  • An
    An Posts: 42 ✭✭

    I keep a yearly calendar of approximate harvest dates for anything I want to harvest or forage from the wild. In January I transfer to my new calendar. This works, mostly :)

  • Karin
    Karin Posts: 272 ✭✭✭

    I like the idea of a calendar, but in reality I never check it! I tend to just rely on being regularly out in the garden and seeing what needs harvesting. Sometimes, I miss the best time, sometimes I can still harvest a bit of whatever it is, other times I just let it go. Helps that we don't have a massive yard I guess!