How to Design an Herb
Garden and Plant it for the Best Results
Tips for Successfully Hang Drying Herbs
Fresh herbs have many wonderful properties. When you dry them
carefully many of these properties are preserved.
Some herbs suitable for hang drying are: rosemary, sage, lemon balm,
wormwood, lovage, parsley, mint and lavender.
The following twelve tips will help you dry your herbs successfully
Start a Garden
patio herb garden
windowsill herb gardens
Maintaining your Herb Garden
Hang Dry your Herbs
Container Garden video
Early Herbal Healers
Banish Bug Bites
Tip 1. Pick your herbs just
before you plan to dry them. They are just
right when they are fully developed and just commencing budding.
off any damaged leaves or dead bits of stem.
Tip 2. Have a good look at the bunch and make sure that your herbs
insect-free. Don't wash your herbs after you've picked them unless they
really need it. If theys look like they need washing, you could
hose them a day or two before you pick them, allow them to dry, then
cut your bunches for drying.
Tip 3. Have everything ready for drying just as soon as you cut them.
Tip 4. To allow the herbs to dry at a uniform rate, gather them in
similar size bunches. For each drying bunch - tie about 8 - 10 stems
For the majority of the herb bunches, tie their stems together
with string and hang upside down. Some of the larger bunches
can be hung on a hook or wire by themselves. But,
remember to hang
them upside down so the essential oils settle
in the leaves instead of the stems.
Tip 5. If your drying location is at risk of contamination (e.g.
smoke, wind) place a paper bag (or other cover) over your herbs.
A warm, dry, dark location is the best place to dry your
(e.g. shed, loft or pantry cupboard)
Tip 6. In the right conditions, it takes approximately five days for
your herbs to dry. In cooler conditions, it may take up to two weeks
to dry. The best temperature for drying herbs is around 30o C (85o
Tip 7. It's OK to dry different types of herbs at the same time. Just
make sure that you don't place them too close together. If the
are too close together the properties of one herb may taint the
Tip 8. When the herbs leaves are papery (fragile) the drying is
complete. If your herb leaves collapse when touched, you have let
drying process go
on for too long.
Tip 9. To store your herbs, remove the leaves from the stems. Try to
keep the leaves intact as best as you can, in as large pieces as
possible, even whole leaves if you can. This will help your herbs to
keep their wonderful qualities. Tip: Gather the dried leaves on a
piece of paper. Use the paper to pour your dried leaves into an
10. Crush your herbs just before you plan to use them.
Tip 11. Store your newly dried herbs away from sunlight in an
container, preferably glass. A dark glass container is ideal.
12. Advice from the Experts. Bea Kunz of Sage Hill
Farms offers this helpful advice in her "News From
Around the Farm" newsletter -
and preserving herbs can be a joy if you do
it in a proper manner.
your cutting times for early morning, just
after the dew has dried. It's a good idea to
give the gardens a good spraying the evening
before to wash away any dirt or insects that
may be lurking. After cutting, go forward
with whatever method of preserving you do...
the longer your herbs are left sitting the
more essential oil you will lose.
are drying by the hanging method, hang them
immediately, upside down , and in a clean
and spacious place where the circulation of
air is good. When hanging upside down the
essential oil isn't lost, it travels to the
end of the plant where the leaves are and is
caught and dried .
dehydrater is another form of drying, I
really don't know that one is better than
the other, but I love the texture and the
color of herbs dried by hanging. I use both
methods, depending on the herb and the time
frame I'm working under."
Read "Bea's Beatitudes/All About Herbs blog" for
and Herb Lore. Visit with her HERE
Subscribe to Sage Hill Farms "News From Around the
MORE HERB GARDEN TIPS
to your RSS Feed Reader