It's Time to Prune Herbs in the Herb Garden

| 4/24/2011 3:25:44 PM

n.heraud2You can check out the Lemon Verbena Lady at her blog

Mother Nature has been quite generous with rain in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania this spring. Now is the perfect time to get out between rain showers and prune herbs before the real growing season starts. I particularly like to prune pineapple mint, thyme and rosemary-leaf santolina. This is a photo of my pineapple mint patch before I got in and pulled out invading lawn grass and trimmed back the dead wood of the mint plant. It may not look like much, but I was able to get out some excess mint more easily.

Untidy Pineapple Mint Patch 

Here is a photo of my pruned pineapple mint (in the upper half of the photo below). I love to use pineapple mint in a tea blend with lemon verbena and lemon balm. Simply combine a couple of herb leaves in a tea ball or self-seal tea bags to make a delightful brew. I also like to use young pineapple mint leaves in a fruit salad or a green salad—this is the time that the leaves have the most pineapple flavor. In the bottom half of my photo below is my lemon thyme. I love to pull out weeds or grass between the thyme branches with tweezers. It works very well. If you have a favorite way to pull weeds out between thyme branches, please leave a comment or email me at

Finished Pineapple Mint Patch and Pruned Lemon Thyme 

Another herb I like to prune this time of year is rosemary-leaf santolina. I first planted this herb in 2007, and it obviously likes where it was first planted. I bought it from Mulberry Creek Herb Farm out in Huron, Ohio. They do not mail-order herbs any more, but if you are going to be taking a family vacation to Cedar Point this summer, the farm is just south of there. They have an annual herb farm on June 25 and 26 with a Caribbean theme. Well-Sweep Herb Farm in New Jersey still does mail-order and they sell this herb. It makes a beautiful herbal shrub in your landscape. The leaves are shaped like rosemary, but smell like santolina with a camphorous aroma. I use the leaves in sachet bags that I put in with wool sweaters or winter clothing.

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