Harvesting Your Mint
Mints are quite hardy and will be among the first plants to emerge in Spring. Once the shoots have gotten five or six inches long, you can begin your harvest for use fresh. Do not remove more than half of the new growth to allow the plant to recover and, hopefully, branch out, assuring you an abundant harvest in the Fall.
The optimum time to harvest Mints are just before the plants start to flower, around mid-summer, but, the plants are quite prolific, so occasionally harvesting for fresh use can be tolerated, as long as you do not harvest more than a few sprigs from each plant.
Garden Pruners or Good Kitchen Shears
Basket or portable container to hold sprigs as they are harvested
NOTE: To keep the Mint at the peak of freshness, place the stems in a bucket of water as you harvest them.
1. Choose sprigs that are just beginning to show signs of forming flower buds that are healthy with fresh growth.
2. Remove the top 3" or 4" of the stem, cutting just above the leaves on the stem. This assures that the new growth will branch out, producing two stems in the place of the one harvested.
3. Place stems in basket or bucket of water.
4. If you harvest more than you need for a specific recipe, the fresh stems can be placed in a glass of water and refrigerated until needed.