Harvesting mint is pretty simple but it takes a lot of care. Pinch the top small portion of the stem or removes the upper leaves of the plant. Make sure, the plants remain healthy or start new growth after harvesting. Harvesting should be done at the right time or with the right tools. Keep reading the article to know about how to harvest mint without killing the plant.
Mint is a perennial and highly aromatic herb that belongs to the family Lamiaceae. It is one of the most highly used plants all over the world because it can be used in both beverages and food. Its fresh flower is wonderful in hot and cold teas. Mints are adaptable plants that can grow both indoors and outdoors. Moreover, you can clone a new plant from the existing plant by using its stem cuttings.
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How to harvest mint without killing the plant?
If you are growing mint in your home or garden, you will likely want to know the best way to harvest your mint leaves. You can harvest mint in smaller or larger amounts. We will explain how to harvest mint without damaging the plant. Keep reading to learn exactly when and how to harvest your mint plant.
Mint can be harvested without killing the plants by harvesting at the right time; using sharp tools and cutting the stem rather than pulling the leaves or stems off the plant.
When to harvest your mint plant?
The best time to harvest the mint leaves is right before the flowers appear in the spring. For fresh use, pick the green leaves from the plant as required. You can start picking the leaves as soon as plants reach at least 4 to 5 inches in height. Right before flowering, cut the stems 1 inch from the ground. Moreover, you can harvest the mint plant two to three times in one growing season. The best time to harvest your mint plant is after the morning dew has dried. However, move to your planting site in the morning to collect the stems.
Use the right tools to harvest your mint plant
Always use the right tool to harvest your mint plant that prevents unnecessary damage to the plant. However, a pair of garden scissors and sharp shears are the best tools for harvesting your mint. Use scissors and make sure it is sterilized. Because you do not want to transmit any diseases that could cause any problems for your plants. It is important to remember to always clean your snipping or cutting tools to ensure you did not accidentally transmit plant diseases.
How much do you pick the leaves?
If you need just a few leaves for a recipe, simply pluck the individual leaves directly off the stem. On the other hand, if you need a lot of mint for cooking then cut the stems instead of picking the leaves. Keep in mind that young leaves have more flavors and tastes than older ones. So, make sure you pick smaller leaves on the top of the plant. You can grow the plants indoors for fresh leaves throughout the winter. If you want to dry them, it’s best to cut the leaves right before flowering. Store the dried leaves in an airtight container.
Do not harvest too early
It is important to remember that you need to wait at least two to three months before the first harvesting. Harvesting too early may cause stunted growth or plants may never recover from the stress. However, incorrect harvesting can kill the plant make it susceptible to diseases, and produce a substandard plant.
Benefits of harvesting mint
Harvesting the mint plant indicates new aromatic foliage. Moreover, when you clip leaves and stems off the plants they put more energy into growing. Regular harvesting encourages mint to keep producing healthy and aromatic leaves and bush out. You can use harvested mint in cooking recipes and beverages.
Frequently asked a question about how to store fresh mint leaves. If you want to store fresh leaves of mint for one or two days then fill up a glass with water and drop your mint stems into it. Keep the container in the fridge. On the other hand, you can use plastic bags or polythene for storing purposes.
How to freeze fresh mint?
Chop up your mint leaves and pack them into an ice cube tray. Carefully fill the rest of the tray with water and freeze it. You can either toss these minty ice cubes in drinks or add them right to your pan.
How to dry mint leaves
Lay the mint leaves in a layer across the dehydrator or tray but make sure the air circulates between the leaves. Dry the mint at 40°C/105°F for about two to five hours until the leaves crumble to pieces. Moreover, clean the leaves and take out every rotting leaf. Wash the leaves under running tap water to remove dirt. Moreover, spread the leaves on a kitchen towel to allow the water to drain off and dry completely.
Can you dry mint in the microwave?
Absolutely yes, you can dry mint leaves in the microwave for 10 to 25 seconds. Spread the mint leaves on a microwave plate and cook them for about 10-second intervals. Take the mint leaves out after 10 to 45 seconds when they become crispy.
Mint leaves are just fine to harvest anytime whether before or after flowering, but the flavor may not be quite as strong as it was before it flowered. This is why we have always preferred harvesting before flowering. You can also learn how to grow mint by reading our other articles.
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