Are you growing lemon verbena in New Jersey, but don’t know when the best time to harvest them is?
Harvesting lemon verbena is not as easy as it seems.
- Lemon Verbena have a very short window when they can be harvested and still taste great.
So if you harvest them too early they may not be ready and taste bad. And if you harvest them too late they may become infected with mold, fungus, insects, etc., and become inedible.
Today, I’m going to teach you the ideal time to harvest lemon verbena in New Jersey:
- To Learn More About HOW to Grow Lemon Verbena, Check Out This GUIDE!
When Do I Harvest Lemon Verbena in New Jersey?
As you may have already guessed, there are two main factors that determine when you should harvest your lemon verbena: the physical features of the lemon verbena & weather (time).
Harvest Lemon Verbena if They Look Like This!!!
The physical features of lemon verbena are what most gardeners commonly rely on to determine if they are ready to be picked off the plant or not.
In general, you should harvest lemon verbena if they have the following physical features:
- The entire lemon verbena is a solid red color. If the lemon verbena is a lighter shade of red, it is not ready to be harvested
- The lemon verbena is slightly soft. Too hard means it is not ready. Too soft means it is overripe (but still edible)
- Easily able to be deattached from the the plant. This means it has absorbed all the nutrients it needs and is ready.
Harvest Your Lemon Verbena During THIS Time of Year!!!
In general, you should harvest lemon verbena:
- 65 to 85 days after starting lemon verbena from seed
- 40 to 50 days after planting lemon verbena in your garden
- 20 to 30 days after lemon verbena first appear
And no matter what, you should ALWAYS harvest your lemon verbena before the first frost of the year. Frost will immediately kill your lemon verbena plant and make your lemon verbena inedible.
For your reference, I have created this table for average frost dates for most major cities in New Jersey. If your city is not listed below you can find its Last & First Frost Dates HERE.
New Jersey Last & First Frost Dates
It should be noted that you should not overly rely on the first frost of the year. The average first frost of the year is only correct 30% of the time.
Instead, pay close attention to your local weather.
When you know a frost is coming you need to take action.
- If lemon verbena are in pots, bring them inside
- If lemon verbena are in the ground, cover them in burlap and hope they survive
- Pick all lemon verbena. If they are not ready, place them in a brown paper bag and store them for approximately 1 to 2 weeks to see if they become edible.
If you want to learn WHEN to harvest ANY Vegetable in New Jersey, head over to HERE and just type in the vegetable you want to grow.