Once you have grown your delicious and good-smelling herbs, you will then harvest them and need to store them. However, it helps to dry them first, which will help the herbs last as long as possible. Take a look at these basic instructions for drying and preserving the herbs.
Harvesting and Preparing the Herbs
Before you get started with drying your herbs to preserve them, you need to prepare them a little bit. You don’t just cut herbs, then put them directly in the oven or hang them to dry. First of all, make sure they are being harvested at the appropriate time. This often means pulling the herbs before the plants start flowering.
Harvesting is best on a warm warning after the dew is gone. As you would with flowers, you want to remove damaged leaves. Some herbs need to be kept on the stalks, like dill, while others need to be cut from the stalk, like mint and sage.
Consider Air Drying
Now it is time to discuss the different methods of drying herbs. Air drying is a popular option, and one that is very simple to do.
If you want to air dry your herbs, keep about 5 or so branches together in a bundle, securing them with a rubber band. Keep in mind that smaller bundles are going to dry a little faster. Now take your herbs and put them in a paper bag, with the stem side up. Close the bag and tie it off, poking some holes in the bag carefully.
Now hang it in a room with lots of rooms for proper ventilation. This shouldn’t take longer than a week.
Try Oven Drying the Herbs
Another popular way to dry your herbs before you preserve them is by using the oven. This is going to take a lot less time, so if you want to get your dried herbs into containers by tomorrow, using the oven is the ideal method to try out.
Start by turning on your oven and setting it to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Let it pre-heat while you prepare your herbs to be dried. Once it is preheated, you can put the herbs on a pan and then bake it at 180 for up to 4 hours, but at least 2 hours. This does remove a little bit of their flavor, so keep that in mind when you decide to bake them.