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.
On 15 Apr 2004 11:54:07 -0700, email@example.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
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
-- Mister Gardener
Maine Coast Zone 4-5
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
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