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How to tips on Growing and Drying your Herbs

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 3 11

With the prices of our groceries increasing all the time I think we could save a lot of money by growing and drying our own herbs. Herbs are so easy to grow and take up very little space.

You can grow them anywhere, whether you choose to grow them in your garden or in a small pot. If space is all important then why not grow them in pots on a windowsill or even on the back table under the patio for that matter.

The Secret of growing Herbs

Here are a few of my secrets to be successful at growing herbs:

· Buy healthy sturdy plants – Look for plants that are fresh and bright in color and strong stems. Avoid the scraggy type of plants or ones that are wilted or yellow.

· Plants need good soil- Herbs will fail to thrive in badly drained soil, they like sandy soil so build it up and enrich it with organic fertilizer.

· Herb plants need full sun – herbs need full sun, keep indoors in cooler months.

· Harvest your herbs - harvest regularly, this encourages plant growth and producers more foliage.

· Feed herbs – Feed with mulch to prevent the soil from drying out especially in the hotter months.

Pest Control

As you probably know, snails and slugs love to attach the young foliage of herbs seedlings. You can help protect them by putting a layer of sawdust around each plant. Pests appear to dislike the texture of sawdust.

If this is not available sprinkle a few snail pellets around your plants. Beware and be careful not to use these if you have cats or dogs. You can by the pet deterrent ones now available.

Drying Oregano

Names of a few of the most common herbs

Edible Herbs – Basil, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Oregano, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme. Keep in mind there are also many different types and flavors of some of these.

Don't forget that a lot of these are also flowering herbs- these are not only pleasing on the eye but edible too. The Kale ornamental one looks great and adds color to your herb garden.

Drying Rosemary

Drying the Herbs

Most people reckon that the best way to dry herbs is to cut off in branches and tie together then hang to dry. I have done this many times with my Lavender.

When it comes to edible herbs, I prefer to dry them differently. When hanging to dry I believe that it may encourage flies and other insects to land on them which means they could also leave their feces behind on the herbs. That does not sound very healthy to me.

Drying this way can be done with most types of herbs. In this article I will show you that I have dried out Oregano, and am now doing the same with my Parsley and Rosemary herbs.

Pick your herbs fresh and wash under running tap water. Leave to drain and thoroughly dry.

While holding each sprig in your hand, pick off the leaves and place leaves in a dish. Discard the stems. Do this with all the herbs. Yes by removing the stems it limits the time it takes for the leaves to dry out.

I place these dishes of herb leaves in the fridge uncovered. Turn them over every couple of days to dry out evenly.

It could take a couple of weeks. Depending on how much you put in the dish. I do it in approximately a cupful of each at a time.

When it is completely dry, scrunch it up in your hand until completely broken into tiny pieces. Remove any remainder of old stems and put into air tight containers.

Now use them in your favorite recipes.

This sounds like a long process but in actual fact only takes a few minutes every so often until completed.

Drying in a bag

You can also pick off herb branches and tie up in a bag and leave to dry hanging in your pantry.

Other uses for Herbs

Herbs have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Camomile helps people relax aiding in sleep. Also some herbs are helpful in pain relief.



Feb 2, 2010 6:53am
Great article on drying herbs. My grandmother has used a drying oven for years and loves it.
Feb 2, 2010 7:28am
CWilliams, thats cheating, I had a fruit dryer once but as it was plastic it started to crack, so gave it away. Thanks for stopping by
Feb 2, 2010 10:13am
I love herbs. You have some good advice here.
Feb 2, 2010 6:34pm
ethel yes they are better when fresh.
Feb 2, 2010 11:22am
I love herbs, too. I find that drying in bunches in my pantry is okay--I simply tie a paper bag around them to prevent insects from landing on them. The bag also catches stray seeds and leaves that drop off in the process.
Feb 2, 2010 6:33pm
classical geek, sounds like a good way of doing it . thanks.
Feb 15, 2010 12:36pm
what a wonderful article
Jun 7, 2010 9:07am
thanks for stopping by to read
Jul 20, 2010 1:55pm
My sister has a nice herb garden and dries the herbs. I have some mint growing and you just reminded me to go out and harvest some, the stem is getting woody. Very nice article.
Jul 24, 2010 7:28am
yes we can do so much with herbs, and nothing beats when their fresh although we still need the dried ones too.
Mar 2, 2011 2:28pm
Important article with food prices skyrocketing soon, backyard gardens are going to be much needed in the future ahead!
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