Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 09:00 pm
Peppermint tea, prepared from fresh peppermint from the garden, is very refreshing on hot summer days. But also as a spice, not only the English appreciate it in their mint sauce. Tips on how to properly harvest and process your peppermint.
When is the best time to harvest peppermint?
There are three ways to harvest fresh peppermint
- Small quantities continuously
- First harvest just before flowering in June
- Second main harvest in the fall
- Pruning whenever necessary
Harvest peppermint properly
Once the peppermint has formed enough leaves, you can continuously pick off a few of them to make a tea or flavor delicious dishes.
Since peppermint in this country is mostly drunk as tea or processed into peppermint oil, the main harvest should take place when the plant begins to bloom. This is when the essential oil content in the leaves is highest. The flowering period lasts from June to August.
Just before winter, you may once again reach for the scissors or knife and cut the plants down completely. However, the harvested stems are suitable for consumption only if the summer has been very warm. After cool, rainy summers, it is not worth processing the peppermint, because the leaves could not form enough flavor.
How to cut peppermint?
Individual leaflets simply pluck from the stems with your fingers. However, be careful not to tear the stems, as pests can quickly settle here.
For the main harvests, it is best to cut the peppermint with sharp scissors just above the ground. The plants tolerate a strong pruning and reliably sprout again.
In between, you will also need to reach for the scissors every now and then to shorten the peppermint. The plants tend to proliferate and can only be kept in check to a certain extent by pruning.
Processing peppermint after harvest
Peppermint should definitely not lie around for a long time after harvesting. The sooner you process it, the higher the content of essential oils in the leaves.
Peppermint is most aromatic when you brew the leaves very freshly harvested as a tea or add them to food.
Peppermint goes wonderfully with a variety of dishes and drinks. Dried, you can stock up on peppermint tea for the winter and not have to buy ready-made tea. This is especially beneficial because store-bought peppermint tea is often loaded with contaminants.
Different ways to preserve peppermint
- Soak in oil
- Peppermint oil
- Herbal salt
- Peppermint jelly
- Peppermint liqueur
Tips & Tricks
Peppermint is a universal herb that you can use for many things. Peppermint oil is known for its healing properties for headaches. It even drives mice away if you put a few drops in mouse holes.