To harvest mint, take small cuttings from a mint plant throughout the growing season. Harvest a larger amount right before the plant flowers by trimming the mint above the second set of leaves.Continue Reading
Whenever possible, harvest mint in the morning. This is when the oils in the plant are strongest, which yields optimal flavor.
Trim individual leaves and sprigs throughout the growing season, using a sharp knife or scissors. In addition to giving the gardener usable leaves, this helps keep the overall size of the mint plant in check and promotes plant growth.
Wait until the mint plant is nearly ready to flower to take a larger harvest. Right before it blooms, the mint flavor is at its most intense. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the mint plant right above the second set of leaves. The plant continues growing, allowing two to three large harvests for each growing season.
Store freshly harvested mint in a damp paper towel placed in an unsealed plastic bag. Keep fresh mint refrigerated for optimal shelf-life. Alternatively, dry the mint in a dehydrator or by baking the leaves in an oven set to the lowest heat.