Mint in Bloom
The bloom on this mint plant is pretty, but pinching it off will keep the plant producing flavorful leaves.

My herb garden is blooming. A couple of years ago, I thought that was a good thing. The flowers made my herb bed look pretty and the bees loved them, too. But I learned last summer from my gardening mentor that when the weather is still warm, you should pick the blooms off the herbs if you want them to keep producing (sorry bees!).

Stevia in bloom
Snip off stevia flowers to keep those sweet leaves coming.

Lesson learned, and one to share. My basil, mint, and stevia are all in bloom now, so I’m pinching off the flowers. If you want to keep your herbs growing, you’ll have to snip your blooms off, too. The bloom tells the plant to go to seed and, consequently, the plant will stop producing. Hence, the reason the flower has the “power.” Aha…light bulb!

If you live in a warm climate like me (I live in Zone 7), you’ll probably have many more warm days ahead and many days of optimum weather for your herbs to keep thriving. This week, it is going back into the low 90’s (still great weather for basil). This article on summer herb harvest tips is helping me keep my herb garden in shape.

This is a good time to “regroup” your garden if you haven’t already. I’ve had to weed through and pull out most of my tomatoes. My Japanese eggplant have a couple of blooms on them. My cucumbers are DONE, and some things are just too early to judge right now. On the other hand, my peppers are really doing well. I just had a surprise harvest yesterday of red cherry peppers and red bell peppers (seemed like they grew out of nowhere).

Now that I think of it, I planted this garden in late April (almost five months ago). No wonder the garden and I both feel a little tired!