We like to plant all sorts of herbs in our cottage garden. We’ve written posts on the top 15 medicinal herbs you can grow yourself, how to use herb medicine safely at home, and how to use medicinal herbs on farm animals. We also love to grow roses and use their dried petals medicinally and in a DIY facewash.
If you’re interested in other preservation methods for herbs, click these links for two more ways to quickly and easily preserve your herbs at home and preserving herbs in salt.
Tips for the Best Herbs
- Start with freshly harvested herbs. Herbs that were harvested a day or more prior to drying will lose flavor and potency. It’s best to work with herbs that are as fresh as possible.
- Know the “enemies” of herbs. Sunlight, air exposure, and moisture are all no-no’s when it comes to getting quality herbs. We’ll discuss each of these more in-depth below.
- Enhance the flavor of your herbs!
By following all these tips, you’ll end up with the most flavor, the most potent and the best quality herbs. Not to mention you won’t be paying grocery store pricing as you’ll only have spent a few cents on the price of the seeds!
When possible, harvest herbs just before you plan to bundle them and dry them. It’s really best to do this all in one day, even within an hour or so from harvesting.
Dried Herb “Enemies”
When drying and storing herbs, it’s important to choose a section of your home where they’ll be out of direct sunlight.
It’s true herbs need sunlight to grow, but when it’s time for them to be dried, sunlight will degrade the herbs quickly.
Choose an area of your home where there is minimal foot traffic.
Herbs that are hanging will collect dust and particles floating around in the air, so the less air movement surrounding them, the better quality you’ll end up with in the end.
Storing herbs correctly will prolong the life of your herbs. This is probably the most important one to watch out for.
When storing herbs, an airtight container such as a mason jar is a great option.
But it’s imperative your herbs are completely dry before sealing them.
One test you can do is to crumble them and seal them tightly in a mason jar. Watch the jar for 24 hours, if ANY condensation forms on the inside of the jar, the herbs were not completely dry.
If this happens, remove the herbs from the jar and allow them to continue drying.
You can do this test as many times as needed.
Different Methods for Drying Herbs
How to Dry in the Oven
Drying in the oven doesn’t actually mean turning the oven on.
To dry herbs in the oven, arrange your herbs on a cookie sheet and then place them in an oven with only the pilot light lit, or the oven light on.
Drying with a Dehydrator
Using a dehydrator is a great option if you want them done quickly and in a protected area.
Arrange herbs on the dehydrator trays and dehydrate at the lowest possible temperature until completely dry.
Hang Dry in Bundles
Our favorite method for how to dry herbs is to hang them in bundles.
We have a room off of our kitchen that doesn’t get too much foot traffic where we hang them from the ceiling until completely dry.
Keep reading for our tips on how to hang dry herbs.
How to Hang Dry Herbs
Where you live and the humidity in the area you’re drying the herbs will determine how thick your bunches can be.
In dessert climates, you can bundle together many more herbs than say the humid south.
Hang From Twine
Now you can enjoy your homegrown culinary herbs all year long!
More Dehydration and Freeze Drying Resources
- Preservation 101 – Dehydrating Food
- Food Preservation – A Year at a Glance
- Medicinal Herbs & Their Uses
- Easy Fruit Leather Recipe – How to Make Fruit Leather That’s Soft & Chewy
- DIY Homemade Greens Powder
- Homemade Garlic Salt (Easier & Better Than Store-Bought)
- Easy Homemade Egg Noodles Recipe
- How to Freeze Dry Milk
- How to Freeze Dry Eggs
- Homemade Freeze Dried Corn
- How to Make Onion Powder From Scratch (Easy DIY Recipe)