An important factor to keep in mind when scheduling plant production is not only how long it will take the plants to grow but also how long it will take them to be sold and moved out of your sales or production area. Other important questions include what plant species to grow, how much space is needed, and whether the plants will be grown from seeds or cuttings. If cuttings are to be used, space will be needed for the mother plants, and a mist chamber may be necessary.
Most herbs will need 6 to10 weeks to reach saleable size. Researchers at Cornell recommend starting the following in March for May sales: parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme.(4) Anise, basil, borage, chives, coriander, dill, and fennel should be sown in April for May sales. Table 2 provides more specifics about production scheduling for fresh-cut herbs.
For greenhouse-grown fresh-cut herbs, each type has somewhat different requirements. For example, mint is best grown in a raised bed and cut uniformly, section by section, as market requirements dictate. Rosemary, on the other hand, is raised as potted specimen shrubs, and managed quantitatively over the years by reducing plants to the required number. Sprigs of rosemary are harvested individually.
For more details of production and harvest of specific herbs, study Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs, by Sandie Shores.(8)
Was this article helpful?
Learn what you can do with herbs! How to Plant, Grow, and Cook with Natural Herbs. Have you always wanted an herb garden but didn't know how to get started? Do you want to know more about growing your own herbs in the privacy of your home and using them in a variety of cooking?