How to Dry Herbs

We use a lot of Oregano in cooking and so we always have some growing in the Herb Garden.  Oregano is a perennial Herb and it should come back each year with new growth. Our climate dictates that we have to mulch the Oregano heavily for insulating, if we want to plant it right into the ground.

The best time to harvest herbs is before they flower. If you keep pinching the tops off, it will delay flowering and you can harvest more leaves for using fresh or dried.

 

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Here’s the Oregano in mid June. I have it in a pot because Oregano can really spread and I would rather keep it smaller and contained.
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And here it in early August, with the pink flowers just coming on.

 

To harvest I cut the branches down low. Sometimes I need to trim the lower leaves if they are yellowing.

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I clip the branches and bundle them with an elastic band

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Then I put a paper bag around the bundle and tie it onto one of the posts on our stairway. I let it dry there for a week or so.

Once it’s dried, I just run my hands down the stalks and the leaves will fall into the bottom of the bag. Then I can transfer them into a jar, seal it and keep it on the counter next to the stove.

I would love to have bundles of herbs hanging in my kitchen. But the problem I have is our Wolf. He sheds like crazy and the idea of picking wolf hair out of my herbs does Not excite me. And the thought of eating Wolf hair along with our Italian dishes doesn’t do much for me either, so I’m keeping the bags on.

I dry parsley, lovage, and other herbs the same way. It’s quick, easy and we love to use dried herbs in the kitchen.