Most herbs and salads are ready for harvesting within 4-7 weeks, but sprouting and growth time depend on room temperature. The optimal temperature is 20-26 degrees. The warmer it is, the faster it grows. If it is 18 degrees or colder, it can grow very slowly.

Check out this video, or read the article below, to learn more about how to harvest from plants:



Trim regularly from the top (pruning):

Most herbs (such as basil, oregano, mint, dill, rosemary, and thyme) can be trimmed from the top. For best results, cut the plant right above the nodes where new leaves grow out:

Plants do photosynthesis in their leaves, so if you clip some leaves at the top, new leaves will continue to grow. You should avoid cutting off too much of the plant at once, as this may cause the plant to die. 


Some plants should be trimmed from the bottom:

Some herbs (such as parsley and cilantro) benefit from being trimmed from the bottom (they will not continue to grow new leaves if you trim them from the top). Just cut whole stems above the roots: 

The lower leaves will get more light, and new branches will grow.


Salads like arugula and romaine can be harvested by cutting off the large, outermost leaves:

Be careful not to cut off the innermost leaves, as they will ensure that you get new growth.


Do you need to thin out your plants?

If the pot is getting crowded as the plants grow bigger, you can thin out a bit by cutting off some whole stems (even on plants that should normally be harvested from the top).


Do some plants steal a lot of light? Trim them and make sure the lower ones get more light.

Every plant needs light to grow. If some of the plants are shading and "taking" a lot of the light, it may be wise to trim them a bit. The plants grow at variable speed, and typically arugula and parsley grow quickly and tend to overshadow the others. Here is an example:

Here you can see the basil is in the shade, so it grows much slower.


Trim before the plant blooms:

It is also essential that you harvest the herbs before they start blooming. When herbs bloom, they enter a new phase where the taste can get bad. The Auk provides both light and nutrients that slow down blooming, but it cannot stop it completely; you must do that with continuous trimming :)

If you harvest continuously and make sure to trim the herbs before they bloom, you will have a happy plant that continues to give new leaves :)