Is your herb garden growing way too fast for you to keep up?
Drying your herbs to use later is a great way to preserve your garden. It can minimize waste and be more convenient to use for recipes. Dried herbs are long-lasting and versatile:
- Add to recipes and baking for color, nutrition, flavor or aromatics
- Add to floral designs and bouquets
- Use as ornamental home decor
- Use in a variety crafts
My personal favorite is adding dried rosemary (see my favorite type here!) to a mesh bag and tossing it in my dryer to make for a fresh smelling natural substitute for dryer sheets. It smells amazing and you have to try it out!
‘But how do I dry my herbs at home’ you ask?
Drying your herbs is simple and easy!
The best time to gather your herbs for drying is right before the flowers open and in the morning after the dew has evaporated.
Here are the best ways to dry your herbs:
1. Air Dry
Gather up some branches and tie them up in a bundle with a rubber band keeping in mind the bundle may shrink as they dry. Smaller bundles dry up easier and quicker, larger bundles will take a bit longer.
Hang the bundle with the stem end facing up in a warm, well-ventilated room and they will be dried in about 1-2 weeks!
You can also wrap a paper bag around the bundle with poked holes for ventilation to dry them faster.
Don’t worry if you are in a time crunch, the next 3 options are much quicker!
Place a single layer of leaves in your dehydrator.
Set your dehydrator on the lowest settings and let the leaves cook for about 2-4 hours depending on what type of leaves you are using.
Check in on them periodically. Be gentle when removing because the leaves can easily crumble.
3. Oven drying
Lay your bundle on a baking sheet or cheesecloth to ensure the leaves don’t stick to the baking pan.
Set your oven to the lowest possible settings and bake for about 30 minutes checking on the herbs periodically to let out moisture or rotate if needed.
When the leaves crumble easily, they are done!
Yes, you can use your microwave to dry your herbs! This is the fastest way to preserve your herbs (does that count as a rhyme?).
Wrap your leaves between 2 paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds.
Check on your leaves and move them around, then add another 15-30seconds until they are completely dry.
Now that you know how to preserve all your herbs, are you ready to take on more? Visit Naturehills for more herb and plant options!
Once you have all your favorite herbs ready to grow, download the FREE Smart Plant and Tree Care app to get the top care information to grow them!