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Dry Herbs From Your Garden: The Easiest DIY Food Preservation Method

Learn how to dry herbs to preserve your harvest over the winter with the simplest technique of drying. I will share with you the exact steps I use to harvest, wash and hang to dry for quick drying. Other great herb preservations methods I also use are storing herbs in oil and butter in the freezer. When I have a lot of things on the go I prefer to dry my herbs as it is the fastest.

Watch the full step-by-step herb harvesting and drying method I use at the video below. Be sure to hit the like button and subscribe to my channel (by watching it directly on YouTube). It helps the algorithms send the video to others like yourself that want to learn this skill!

Quick Harvesting Of Herbs

I like to chop close to the bottom of the stem, but not take all of it. I leave maybe a few inches of the plant left with leaves so the plant can keep growing for the remainder of the season. This will also help to ensure better success if it is a perennial to your growing zone.

Washing The Herbs

I like to throw them in the sink for a short soak. Keep each plant type to its own sink for easier processing. Give it a good rinse afterwards before laying it on an old towel. You want to get the bugs off it. You want to get the dirt off of it.

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Remove Dead & Unhealthy Looking Leaves

You want to pick off all the leaves and things that don’t look like they’re healthy anymore, because that’s not stuff that you want to be preserving obviously. And it’s way easier to remove all of that stuff before it’s dried. Once it’s dried and you start to pull it off, it’s kind of all just going to end up getting stored.

Tying In Little Bundles

Use some sort of string or twine, does not have to be anything specific. Instead of clumping everything into one big bundle, it’s generally a good idea to put them into smaller bundles. One giant bundle tied tight together will not give you good airflow. This will delay the drying process and the herbs may rot or grow mold instead. 

I’ll start with one bundle, just tie a little knot on the bottom, make a little loop (shown in video). And then from there, I just keep grabbing sort of small bundles and making little loops to add more onto depending on where you’re hanging them

Tie Bundles Tightly

You do want to tie also pretty decently tight when you’re knotting it. The bundles will shrink as they dry and your herbs will fall out if not tied tight enough.

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Hanging To Dry

Choose a warm well ventilated space to encourage quick drying. Avoid direct sunlight as this will destroy the volatile medical essential oils stored in the plant. I like using my light fixture over my kitchen sink as it has a small window for air flow. My herbs are also out of the way and look cute hanging there for a bit.

Drying Time Frame

I typically find that within 1-2 weeks they are fully dry and ready for storage. The plant will be crispy and the leaves fall off easily. 

Storing Your Herbs

Store in an airtight container. I prefer different sizes of mason jars.

You will find the flavour of your homemade dried herbs to be much stronger than what you will purchase from the grocery store. You can see the quality difference just in the colour of the plant. More vibrant greens are much fresher. I like to grow as many herbs as I can as I cook with them a lot. Typically I find my herbs last me all through the winter into the spring time when my new fresh herb plants are just starting to produce again. 

To learn a super quick way to get the herbs off of the stems and ready for storage check out my YouTube Video by clicking here.

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