The next time you are in Eureka, be on the lookout for chives, red veined Sorrel and Peppermint that are thriving at the Woodford County Master Gardener project at the Courthouse.
Chives can be harvested to the base, leaving behind an inch or two of foliage. This can be done monthly with four established plants and around three-to-four times with new plants. They will regrow a new flush of foliage. Chive flowers are usually removed to keep the plant from reseeding, but the beautiful, purple, globe-like flowers are edible and have a strong onion flavor.
Red veined Sorrel leaves are harvested when they reach four-to-five inches. Flowers should be removed to keep the plant vegetative. The lemony flavored ornamental leaf can be added to salads. The more you pick the more the plant will grow.
Another is Peppermint and it can be cut back to three or four inches from the base of the plant or the tips can be removed, depending on how much you are ready to use. It is best to harvest before flowering as the new growth has more flavor.
For more information on the Woodford Master Gardener program or other University of Illinois Extension events, please visit go.illinois.edu/LMWCalendar or contact your local Extension office at (309) 467-3789. You can also stop in with your gardening questions at their next information session at the Eureka Library from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Monday, June 17.