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How to Harvest Summer Savory

Summer savory does not get as much publicity as basil and oregano, but it provides a tasty herb to grow in your garden. Harvesting requires little expertise, but take care not to damage the rest of the plant while pruning small portions of it. Summer savory is an annual, unlike its cousin winter savory, and can only be enjoyed in temperate weather and before it has flowered and gone to seed. Harvest summer savory on a regular basis while available.

Wait until your summer savory is at least 6 inches tall to harvest. As soon as it has reached this height, it is safe to begin harvesting it.

Snip leaves and shoots from mature stalks only. Do not snip all the way down to the base of each stalk. Instead, leave most of the stalk behind so that the plant continues growing. Harvesting summer savory encourages plant growth, but over-harvesting does not.

Collect the leaves and shoots you harvest in a bowl or basket. Continue gathering as much as you intend to use in the immediate futre. As with most other herbs, summer savory is best enjoyed while fresh.

Stick the stems of summer savory in water and place them in a sunny window to keep the herb fresh. This is a good way to avoid wasting any summer savory if you accidentally picked more than you need for one day, but will be using more of the herb it soon.


Freeze extra summer savory. Wrap a small bunch securely in plastic wrap, stick it in a freezer-safe bag and place in the freezer. Alternately, chop it up into measured amounts, stick it in water in ice cube trays and pop a cube of frozen savory out in the future when you want to cook with it.

Summer savory's flavor starts to turn harsh and bitter when it reaches full maturity and begins to flower. The leaves also will start to turn brown and curl up. At this point, you will probably not want to continue eating it, although there is no danger if you do. Instead, gather the seeds it produces to plant more summer savory next year. Summer savory only lasts a single season. However, it has a hardier relative called winter savory that is a perennial. Know that winter savory tastes stronger and sharper than summer savory.

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