If you wish to use the lemongrass herb (Cymbopogon citratus) in your tea, soup and seafood…
How To Harvest Lemongrass?
Lemongrass which is also known as Cymbopogon citratus could be a culinary and medicinal herb. It has 55 different growing varieties out of which only two are used for cooking purposes. It can attain a height of 2-4 ft tall even in some tropical region it can attain height up to 9ft. so here is the problem of how to harvest lemongrass and what stage is appropriate for the harvest. To get the best and appropriate taste you have to harvest the leaves at the right time otherwise they move towards the hardening stage in which excess nutrients start depositing in the leaves and ultimately affect the quality of the leaves.
Here in this article, I will tell you how to harvest lemongrass.
Factor involved in proper harvesting:
The quality harvest mainly depends on the time taken by the plant to ready for harvest. It mainly depends on the growing conditions and growing regions.
Lemongrass loves hot and humid climates. Lemongrass could be a perennial in growing zones 10 and warmer but are often grown as an annual in cooler climates, though it should be difficult to grow outside within the cooler zones. If planting outside, plant lemongrass after the danger of frost has passed. Lemongrass takes about 100 days and sometimes 4-8 months to be ready for harvest. Lemongrass can also be grown indoors at any time and is gorgeous in a very pot.
Lemongrass prefers fertile, loose, well-drained loam soil that is moist but not too wet. It will tolerate average soil if it has enough moisture and good drainage, but does best in soil with a ph of 6-7.8. site it during a location with full sun or a minimum of 6 hours of sun per day.
Like other grasses, lemongrass needs a pile of nitrogen. During the season, feed it a half-strength solution of balanced soluble fertilizer once per week if during a pot and once per month if within the ground. No chemical fertilizers that are high in nitrogen include composted manure, feed and feather meal.
Harvesting of lemongrass:
Lemongrass is frequently used to add flavor and aroma to food; however, it is normally the stalk that is most regularly utilized and edible. Since the stalk is somewhat hard, they are typically crushed in order to allow the lemony taste to com via when cooking. Only the smooth phase inner is regarded edible so once it is cooked it can be sliced and introduced to a number of dishes. This gentle element also tends to place towards the bottom of the stalk.
Which part harvested:
Lemongrass is harvested for both the stalk and foliage. There are two culinary parts used to harvest for edible purposes.
- Pull entire stalk out of the ground, mainly if it is a late-season harvest and you do not intend to overwinter your plants.
- Cut individual stalks as close to the root base as possible, this method is ideal for cut and come again harvests during the season.
You can harvest lemongrass as quickly as the plant is about a foot tall. Cut twist or spoil off a stalk that is at least ¼ inch thick. The gentlest part is at the bottom, so cast off it as close to the ground as possible. Once you have harvested the wide variety of stalk you want, take away the woody outer element and leaves. Save the leaves to dry or compost them. Slice the gentle part of the stalk and add as needed to your recipe. Extra lemongrass can be refrigerated or frozen.
The things required to harvest:
Here is the following thing you required for harvesting.
Bamboo Working Gloves
Film Foil Roll
Solimo Lawn & Leaf Trash Bags
Where to cut:
Keep in mind that the safest to eat section is close to the bottom of the stalk, this is the place you will desire to snap or reduce off your lemongrass. Begin with older stalks first and seem to be for these that are somewhere between ¼- ½ inch thick. Then either snap it off as shut to the roots as viable or cut the stalk at ground level. You can also twist and pull the stalk. Do not worry if you wind up with some of the bulbs or roots.
Care after harvesting:
After you have harvested your lemongrass stalks, dispose of and discard the woody portions as nicely as the foliage unless you intend on the use of and drying the leaves for teas or soup. While most humans pick lemongrass to use proper away, it can be frozen for up to 6 months if needed.
Tips for harvesting lemongrass:
Here are the following tips for appropriate harvesting.
- Always wear gardening gloves. You can use herb scissors to snip the leaves from the base of the backyard of the clump to dry for tea.
- Do be careful as the leaves are sharp and can give surprising paper cuts. Pruners just sort of bend the leaves, rather than cut through them.
- You string lemongrass leaves up in a window with wire to dry for tea. They get a bit of morning sun, even though it is advocated you grasp them out of direct sunlight. That is the place you have in the house to hang all the herbs. When the leaves have dried, you reduce them into a 2-3-inch portion and save them in a hermetic glass jar.
- Lemongrass stalks are referred to as culms. For these thicker parts, you can pruners to cut the culm as shut to the base of the plant as possible. Wai till the plant is mounted before cutting. It is difficult to recognize when it is protected to start snipping. It is normally encouraged that stalks are least a half of inch thick.
- Grasp an outside stalk on the plant with a gloved hand, choosing a stalk it really is about one-half inch thick. Push the stalk down to separate it from the main clump.
- Cut via the separated stalk with a sharp knife to dispose of it close to the base. Alternatively, pull the stalk toward the ground and twist it gently while pulling to put off the entire stalk and its bulb-like base. Harvest stalks as wished however go away the innermost stalks on the plant to proceed to grow.
- Peel the outer leaves off each stalk, because they are hard woody in nature and unpleasant to eat. Trim off the top of the stalk so only the bottom 6-12 inches are left.
- Store the harvested stalk in foil wrap or a plastic bag. Keep the lemongrass in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- The smooth bulb and core of each stalk can be used fresh or cooked. The tougher outer stalk continually requires cooking to release its flavor and is generally discarded afterward.
Harvesting of loose-leaf lemongrass:
This technique is fantastic and convenient as well. Simply reduce your lemongrass down to the stalk. Make little bunches and tie the stalk end with twine. Hang in a cool darkish vicinity for 2-6 weeks. When accomplish drying you can throw the bunches in a food processor or excessive strength blender and grind just sufficient until it offers you a free leaf tea consistency.
End of season harvest:
In cooler regions where lemongrass is grown as an annual, harvest the remainder plant in the fall, before the first frost units in. cut the foliage down to the lighter colored stalks and then reduce or destroy them off, discarding the roots and any discolored portions.
Check out the Full Guide to Growing and Harvesting Flavorful Teas in Your Backyard:
Harvest the entire plant:
To harvest the entire plant, cut the stalk off at the base of the plant. The plant will slowly sprout new stalks. Individual stalks can also be harvested as needed through slicing or pulling them from the base of the plant. Harvesting individual stalks is a proper choice for growers who desire to have a continuous provide of stalks or for growers who desire to harvest only the thickest stalks that can be offered at a premium. Prepare stalks for the market through disposing of dry or woody outer layers and cutting the lengthy grassy tips, which can be dried and used like bay leaves in cooking, off the thicker bottom component of the stalk. Lemongrass is usually sold via the bunch with 4-8 stalks that are at least ½ inches in diameter per bunch.
Preserving the lemongrass:
If the more leaves are ready for harvest then the desired quantity, then harvest the extra leaves to avoid quality deterioration and preserve them for later use. Mostly it happens at the end of the season. You can freeze or dry the stalks and leaves for use at some stage in the winter.
Freezing the stalk:
Lemongrass stalks can be frozen whole or in smaller portions for about 6 months, for handy use in cooking, cut out the stalks in amounts that you would use them in your recipes. Place them in a freezer bag or container labeled with the date and amount stored.
Drying stalk and leaves:
To dry the stalk or leaves then cut them into portions while the plant is nevertheless fresh as they can emerge as crumbly and hard to cut when dry. Separate the leaves from the stalks and lay them on paper towels or on a screen in a dry vicinity out of the direct sun. when absolutely dry, shop in a jar in a cool dark place. Dried lemongrass can be used for up to a year.
Hopefully, through this article, you will be able to harvest lemongrass.
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