Everything You Need To Know About Harvesting And Drying Herbs
April 16, 2021
When it comes to having your own garden, odds are you've come into contact with an herb or two. We've actually written a past blog post on the best herbs to choose and grow for your garden. Today, instead of focusing on more herbs to add to your garden, we'll be discussing how to actually harvest and dry these herbs out. Herbs can be preserved in a variety of different ways but are usually harvested within ones' garden.
Herbs are known for being harvested when the certain oils that supply the flavor and smell of an herb are at their highest peak. This is the perfect time for you to harvest these herbs, and when it comes to the whole harvesting process, timing is everything. Now, like it is with any kind of plant, herbs are all different and should be harvested at different times. In other words, one herb's peak harvesting time may differ from another one.
Even though most herbs differ in timing, it's a good rule of thumb to dry and harvest herbs earlier in the day. The reason you need to harvest your herbs earlier in the day is to avoid the heat that increases as the day progresses. Another essential rule to understand when harvesting herbs is to avoid spraying any pesticides onto the herbs themselves. Using certain insect control products can not only damage the herbs but make them impossible to be consumed or eaten.
Drying Your Herbs Out
There is a wide range of options when it comes to drying out your herbs. The most popular is to simply air dry your herbs after they have been harvested. Drying is known as one of the most important processes when it comes to growing herbs because of how it's directly correlated to the actual taste of the herb. After the harvesting process is complete, it's essential to wash your herbs to make sure that any dead or damaged material is removed from the herb.
Once your herbs are gently washed, it's time to begin the actual drying process. For this, you'll need an enclosed space that can entrap enough heat to really dry out your herbs. This can be anything really. A basement, a garage, even a shed can work. All that matters is that this location is enclosed and can become hot enough to really dry out your herbs. It's important to put your herbs within plastic bags so there can be no damage caused from the outside. And in order to avoid contamination, cut holes within the bags so that the herbs can get enough air to dry thoroughly. Now comes the worst part: the waiting.
The longest part of the whole harvesting and drying process is waiting for the herbs to dry out fully. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to even a few months, so it's important to stay patient and check in on them from time to time while they dry.