For urban growers, getting the most production out of the smallest space possible is an absolute priority! I can grow a lot in my 224 sq ft space, but there are ways of making what you grow give you even more.
One of my favorite methods of getting more is to harvest leaves, but allow the plant to regenerate and keep growing more leaves. Not all garden plants are suitable to this, but if it is an herb or vegetable you grow for the leaves, chances are that you can.
Some of my favorite plants to steal from are cilantro, chard, spinach, lettuce, basil, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley and you can do this even when they are quite young. The trick is to only steal a little from each plant so the plant can recover and continue to grow.
Below are my young cilantro plants. I choose the largest, oldest leaves from furthest down the plant stem to leave the fresh young growth undisturbed and pinch off one or two from each plant or as much as is needed for a meal.
The spinach is more mature but I still want to keep the plants growing and only harvest what I need right before a meal.
There is nothing fresher than still warm from the sun or wet from the rain.
Who says you can’t have your plants and eat them too 🙂
*Note – even those little cilantro and spinach stems will be put to good use either as flavorings for stocks or to into the compost.