It’s Herb Harvestin’ Time!

September is my favorite month in the garden. The herbs are at full flavor and ready to harvest. Maybe you’ve never grown herbs or this is your first time trying to dry them. Here are some tips from my own garden.

First Step: Cut your herbs for drying before or after they flower. *There are two wonderful exceptions in my garden: Chamomile (you dry the flowers) and Lavender. A special note for Lavender: The flower petals can be eaten in chocolate or other yummy dishes. And of course the petals are popular in oils, soaps, candles, etc.

Bunch the herbs and tie garden string around them, like so:

Herb Post 2014 001[Bunched English Thyme]

Second Step: Hang them in a cool, dark place.  For the bigger herbs like Mint and Catnip, I hang them out in my garden shed.  This week I’m harvesting English Thyme and Tarragon. I hang the more delicate herbs in my office closet. It’s a great location where they won’t be bothered and it gives me the opportunity to enjoy their wonderful scent as I work.

Herb Post 2014 002[Day One: Freshly cut and bunched English Thyme and Tarragon]

Third Step: Wait.  In about 4 weeks or so, you’ll have a bunch of dried herbs on your hands. They look horrible, but as you cut them down and crumble them in a Ziploc baggie…take a big sniff. As I write this post, I’m enjoying the huge bunch of Mint I crumbled in my kitchen.

Herb Post 2014 003[Dried Catnip ready for Kitty to enjoy]

Last tip: Resist the impulse to cut your herbs down to the ground. I usually have Thyme and Rosemary growing past Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

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