The answer to this question depends on how old the plant is and the rate of growth. Your AeroGarden will come with some basic harvesting instructions. There are some special rules when it comes to harvesting herbs grown in an AeroGarden.
Also, there are some things that are ‘normal’ when it comes to how you prune your plants. The normal part is that you always cut above a set of starter leaves, beginning your first pruning when there are three sets of leaves. Also, you never prune more than 30 per cent of your plant. So, your first pruning will only cut off the very top 1/3 of your plant.
The thing that is different than outdoor gardens is that you want to treat your AeroGarden plants like bonsai trees. You don’t want to encourage sideways growth. The reason for this is two-fold. First, you want to keep the plants under the lights as much as possible. Second, sideways growth blocks the light to neighbouring plants.
So, pruning also means training to grow the plant in the direct you want to go — up — as well as making sure no neighbouring plants are being blocked.
When pruning, be sure the following take priority:
- Prune any stems that are growing vertical, following the 30 per cent rule of harvesting no more than 1/3 of the entire plant at once. As your herbs mature, you can cut some stems down by two leaf sets, and others by 1, as long as no more than 30 per cent of the entire plant is harvest. It will all grow back within a week once the plant reaches maturity.
- Cut off any leaves that are growing over neighbouring plants.
- Rotate the plant so that shorter parts of the plant are directly underneath the lights and bigger parts of the plant aren’t blocking its neighbours’ lights.