Drying Herbs, Annuals: Green Tips

On Wednesday, we posted about how you too can dry your own fresh herbs. What a great way to save money, help the environment, and have a little fun while you’re at it!

Wednesday’s post focused on perennial herbs, which is a slightly different process from harvesting annual herbs. So today’s post will give specific details on how to harvest your annual herbs. Re-read Wednesday’s post to get details about drying, which are the same for both perennials and annuals.

According to Wikipedia, an ‘annual’ is a plant that usually germinates, flowers and dies in one year. Some of our most popular annual herbs include basil, anise, coriander, dill and marjoram.

When harvesting leafy annual herbs, you can cut them back quite severely. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears and cut just above a leaf or pair of leaves, leaving four to six inches of the stem for later growth. If an annual herb is grown for its seed (such as dill), do not cut it back and use the leaves. In this case, allow the plants to mature fully and form their seeds; then harvest them. Collect the seed heads when they are turning brown. Cut them from the plants and place in a paper bag for carrying to the drying area. After the seeds drop off into the bag, spread them out on a tray made of very fine wire mesh until they are thoroughly dry.

Once harvested, you can dry the herbs as mentioned in the previous post. Have fun and let us know about your successes or messes when it comes to drying your own herbs!

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