Flower buds peaking out from the leaves of this lemon balm show it is at the peak of its flavor.

For use in every day cooking, just harvest herbs as you need them. Even the leaves of herbs that have barely germinated are aromatic. But if you want to harvest herbs for storage (dried, frozen, in oil, in vinegar, etc.), be aware that there is a specific time for doing so.

That’s because the taste of a herb is at its most concentrated just before it flowers. So when you see flower buds appear in your basil, coriander, chervil or thyme, that is the very best time to harvest them.

Dill seed capsules.

So much for herbs grown for their foliage. If you grow herbs for their seeds (often the case with dill, fennel, coriander, caraway, etc.), do so when the seed capsule starts to turn brown, but before it fully opens.

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, laidbackgardener.blog will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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