• Who doesn’t want freshly picked garden herbs at their disposal whenever they need it? Let’s dive into the simple steps to dry and store your garden herbs to make them last long, along with tips on when to pick them for optimal flavour.

    When to pick your herbs

    For the best flavour, pick your herbs right before they start to flower. Timing is everything when it comes to picking your fresh herbs.

    Early in the morning is the best time to harvest as the oils in the herbs are at their peak when the daylight just hits. Cut the stems with sharp shears. Be sure to keep some leaves as this will encourage new growth.

    how to dry herbs and knowing when to pick them from your garden

    Image credit: Unsplash

    Drying your herbs

    Drying herbs is a pretty straightforward task that requires minimal effort. Choose herbs that are free from blemishes and dirt. Here’s how you can do it:

    Prep the herbs: Use cold water to rinse off any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a dry towel.

    Air drying: There are several methods for drying herbs, but air drying is one of the easiest. Bundle the herbs together with string or elastic bands and hang them upside down in a warm, dry place away. Be sure to keep them away from direct sunlight. The best place to air dry your herbs include a pantry, kitchen, or well-ventilated room.

    Leave your herbs to dry for about a week or two until they’re brittle and their leaves crumble easily.

    Remove Leaves: Once your herbs are dry, strip them from the stems. Discard any woody stems and store only the leaves for the best flavour.

    Dried herb bundles (1)

    Storing your herbs

    Proper storage is essential for preserving the flavour and aroma of your dried herbs. Here’s how you can store them correctly:

    Choose airtight containers: Opt for containers such as glass jars or resealable bags to keep your herbs fresh. Make sure the containers are clean and dry before adding the herbs.

    Label your herbs: To avoid confusion, label each container with the name of the herb and the date it was dried.

    Store in a cool, dark place: Herbs should be stored in a cool, dark place away from heat and sunlight. A pantry or cupboard will work well for this.

    Use your herbs within a year: Dried herbs will retain their flavour for up to a year, if stored properly. After that, they may start to lose their potency.

    ALSO SEE: How to infuse honey using dry herbs

    How to infuse honey using dry herbs

    Feature image: Pexels

    The article originally posted on Garden&Home Magazine.