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Drying Herbs From The Garden

I grow lots of herbs in my garden. Some are culinary herbs, others I use for teas and herbal remedies. No matter what the herbs are going to be used for, I know that the growing season is short. If I want to have these precious herbs to use this winter, I need to preserve them. My favorite way to preserve herbs for cooking, for herbal teas, and for making herbal remedies is to dry them.

drying herbs on paper towels on counter next to jars of herbs

How to Harvest Herbs

- It is best to harvest herbs that are lush and healthy. If possible, most herbs should be harvested before they flower, but that isn't always possible.

- I like to harvest in the late morning or early evening. I like the dew to be dried off, but not in the middle of a hot day when the plants are wilty. Plants should be vibrant, healthy, and perky when harvested.

- If the plants are dirty or could possibly have been peed on by an animal, it is best to rinse them off well. I like to process them in my salad spinner and then leave them on a towel for a few hours to dry completely.

- Once dry, I lay them out on a paper towel which is labeled with what the herb is. Once it dries, I transfer it to a jar, labeled with the Herb, the year it was harvested, and where it was harvested from. You can also add a description of what you might use it for if it is intended as an Herbal Remedy.

- Store the herbs out of direct sunlight and away from excessive heat.

Watch the video below for more details.

Watch Me Harvest and Dry Herbs

Are There Other Methods of Drying Herbs

Of course! I sometimes dry herbs in a dehydrator (just follow the manufacturer's instructions) or in the oven under very low heat. Too much heat can damage the herbs, therefore air drying is best. Speaking of air can also bundle and hang herbs to dry, but I find I tend to then forget about them until they are all dusty. Yes, I have done this several times.

What Am I Drying?

This year I have dried herbs from our garden, a friend's garden, and herbs I foraged.

Culinary Herbs from the Garden








Herbs For Teas and Herbal Remedies

holy basil


st. johns wort

self-heal (foraged)



mugwort (friends garden)

plantain (foraged)

yarrow (foraged)


lemon verbena

red clover (foraged)



lemon balm

What If You Don't Have a Garden?

This time of year you can find Farmers Market vendors offering at least parsley, basil and dill. This is a great place to start. If you can't grow herbs yourself (or you just didn't get around to it this year) buy a bundle of fresh herbs and take them home to dry.

What Are You Harvesting?

Let me know in the comments what you are harvesting this year and your favorite way to use it!

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