herbs: to cut or to pinch?

to promote new growth of herbs, i heard that you're supposed to harvest herbs by pinching, as opposed to cutting. anyone know if that's true?
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On 15 Apr 2004 11:54:07 -0700 in

I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to... quite often the two terms are interchangeable, although, to me, "pinching" sounds like breaking off, as opposed to cutting off. Cutting off the growth tip on most plants causes them to branch. Pinching off (or cutting off) buds can encourage other buds to produce larger flowers or fruit. If I'm doing any mass harvesting, I'll cut. Less damage to the plant.
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On 15 Apr 2004 11:54:07 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (hjl) wrote:

(I thought we went through this last year, but couldn't find the thread in Google. )
You "pinch" off tips of some plants to promote branching. You also "pinch" off the flower buds of basil to both promote branching and to prevent it from 'bolting' or putting all its energy into making seeds.
Harvesting herbs is mostly a matter of gathering leaves or stems of leaves. Some (sage, thyme, parsley) are soft enough to be separated easily by hand. If you're harvesting a bunch of stuff, or things with hardish stems, use scissors for convenience.
The terms 'pinch' and 'cut' are not specific to any particular method of harvesting. You can pinch, cut, clip, gather, sever, or pluck as you fancy.
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I've seen some gardening references specify that "pinching" causes the end of the stem to be somewhat collapsed from the squeezing together action, while "cutting" leaves a clean, noncompressed end. And one method or the other is specific to the desired outcome. It's similar to the difference of the cut made by a bypass pruner as opposed to a anvil pruner.
-- Mister Gardener Maine Coast Zone 4-5
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On Tue, 20 Apr 2004 17:16:27 GMT, Mister Gardener

What "desired outcome"? I can 'pinch' the emerging flower buds of basil with my fingers, and I can 'pinch' off a few leaves for seasoning, but if I want to harvest a large branch, I 'cut'. The difference is the tools I happen to have with me at the time. I don't think many herb plants are going to notice if they were 'pinched' or 'cut.'
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