Drying and storing fresh herbs?

I’ve had some success with my first container herb garden this year and suddenly realized I don’t have any idea on how to properly harvest, dry and store the leaves!

I have lemon balm, oregano, English thyme, basil, pine apple sage and lavender (although it’s currently not in bloom).

Tips and suggestion are greatly appreciated!!



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@katnabis when you dry them hang them upside down (I’ve been told to hang them in darker cooler areas) but I just hang them in my kitchen. Just be sure to tie the end you hang it from tightly because as the stems dry they’ll shrivel and can fall out if they aren’t tied tight enough.

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Exactly :blush: :point_up::open_hands:

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Agreed with Megan, plus wash them while they are fresh, and you can also hang them upside down inside a paper bag so it will catch leaves that my fall in your closet.

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Congrats on your successful herb garden @katnabis- it looks like you’ve got a beautiful harvest ahead! :herb::two_hearts:

I second the vote for hanging the herbs to dry, I know a lot of people have good luck with that method- just be sure to hang them in a place with low humidity/moisture, or they can get moldy!

For a quick way to dry them, you can spread washed herbs out on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven on a low temperature (leaving the oven door open slightly to minimalize moisture). There’s a video here that walks through this method:

For storage, you’ve got lots of options! :blush: My personal favorite is keeping glass jars with pretty labels (maybe even some fun Witchy Herb Labels)

Alternatively, you can also freeze fresh herbs- they stay for a long time in the freezer and make a great additions to soups and dishes. It’s a nice touch of freshness you can have at hand all winter long :snowflake: :blush:

Blessed be and enjoy your herbal harvest! :sparkles:

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I don’t have any practical knowledge like the others, but I just want to say wow! Your garden looks fabulous!

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I also hang them upside down in my space from one of the shelves with the ends tied tightly with some twine or ribbon. (It’s just easier for me to tighten if I need to). I add a small label to the twine so I know which bundle is what after they have dried.

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That’s exactly what I do. I either hang them to dry or I lay them flat on a towel if I can’t hang them. Depending on the environment this can take a while. You can also dry them in the oven as @TheTravelWitch mentioned or even get a dehydrator!

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I harvested some mugwort last week and I actually laid it in front of my window a.c and it’s finally dry enough to store

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Thank you! At my old house, I have a large vegetable and herb garden. Our new home has more trees and shade and no real place for a garden but this year I had to try to grow a few things!

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Great, thanks for the tips! I cut a bundle of Lemon balm and another of pineapple sage and tied them tightly with hemp twine and have them hanging upside down in my pantry. Here goes nothing!

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Woohoo! I’ve been doing this for years! I agree with the methods described above. I have a bathroom downstairs that is dark and not often used. I put extra clothes hangers on the rod and tie bundles of herbs to it using plant wire or old twist ties from loaves of bread.

And I love lemon balm! So many uses! It’s good in teas, sweetened with honey, and it has so many body protecting anti’s - anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, etc. If you have a cold sore, make a tea and use a cotton swab to apply directly every 2-3 hours. I did this with my daughter, and the cold sore was gone in 12 hours. Why spend 20 bucks at CVS for a cream that takes way longer?!?

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I agree, lemon balm is a favorite of mine as well. Herbs have so many uses.

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@Francisco Great idea using a bag to catch leaves that may fall off!

@TheTravelWitch Oh my, thanks for the video on the drying method! I may try that for some of my herbs. I live in the super humid south and this summer has been brutal. I would love to avoid mold in my herbs! Guess the next step is looking for pretty jars to store them in :smiley:

@Siofra What a great idea! I could see myself forgetting which herbs are which once they get dried! I will add labels to the twine to keep them all straight.

@phoenix_dawn Ooo mugwort! I had plans to grow some this year but never could find any seeds!

@Undomeher Love the clothes hanger idea! I was struggling trying to figure out how to hang the bundles and keep them separated!

Thank for all the suggestions so far, very excited to be able to save some of my own homegrown herbs for later!

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Oh I didn’t grow it love. It grows wild here

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Even better!

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You’re welcome! If I think of anything else, I will let you know! Have a great day! :two_hearts:

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You’re very welcome, @katnabis! Congrats again on your successful herb garden, I hope you have a fun time drying and storing your new treasures :blush: May your herbs continue to decorate your dishes and bless your food all winter! :plate_with_cutlery: :heart:

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