Are you into the joys of successful herb gardening? Do you love using your homegrown herbs to add zest and aroma to your everyday dishes? Do you want the convenience of having ready-to-use herbs in your kitchen cupboard?

If you answer yes to these questions, then it’s best if you learn how to properly dry your fresh herbs.

dry herbs neatly hanged

One of the simplest and easiest ways of preserving herbs is by drying them. In fact, drying herbs can be pretty exciting! Think of how you will enjoy having a stock of dried herbs in your kitchen, all lined up in nice jars, waiting to release their magic aroma and flavor.

The great thing about herbs is that you can use them dry and fresh. Fresh herbs can be very useful to add aroma and flavor to your favorite dishes.

They can also be used in treating common ailments, bruises, minor cuts and sprains. Dried herbs are very convenient and practical too, and you can use them for a long period of time providing that you dry them correctly.

Here are some effective ways of drying herbs:

1. Air drying

Air drying is the least expensive and the easiest method to dry fresh herbs. This technique will prove to be an advantage since you won’t deplete the herbs of their essential oils.

Great for herbs that don’t have a high moisture content like dill, bay, marjoram, rosemary, oregano, thyme and summer savory. You can accomplish this by picking the herbs while removing any withered or dead leaves.

Next, tie the stems in small bunches then dip them in boiling water for a couple of seconds. Shake off the excess water and leave the herbs to dry. You can also pat the leaves dry with the use of a towel. Hang to dry.

2. Bundle and Wrap

There are herbs that need to remain attached to their stems until you are ready to use them. Bundle and wrap them tightly using a rubber band. To prevent dust from messing it up, use a rubber band to secure the bundle in a paper bag.

Make sure that the herbs are tightly bundled before you hang it in a dark place. This process usually takes two weeks especially for herbs with thin stems and small leaves.

3. Molding Leaves

herb leaves about to be dehydrated in a dehydrator

For fleshier herbs like mullein and comfrey, you can use a dehydrator set on a no heat button or in its lowest setting. This is great for molding leaves.

Once the leaves are ready for dehydration, you can get the dehydrator tray, place the leaves in a single layer and set the dehydrator at its lowest setting.

Keep the device running for approximately 8 hours, after which, flip the leaves and allow another 8 hours to ensure that the leaves are nicely dried.

4. Newspaper

Drying herbs on newspaper is also common. Be sure to pay extra attention to your herbs when you use this technique to avoid mildew buildup. The plants should receive good airflow on all sides.

If you wish to leave your herbs for a more extended period of time, first what you want to do is flip them for at least the first couple of days. Doing so will help decrease moisture issues from cropping up.

5. Old Screens

Drying on old screens is a traditional, tried and true technique. To do this, set some old window screens on bricks to allow ample airflow.

6. Batch Dehydration

If you are planning to harvest a huge amount of herbs but don’t have enough room to dry them all in one batch, once again, you can use a dehydrator.

I use one called the Excalibur, which has nine trays and makes the entire drying process simpler. Don’t forget to regularly check your trays for moisture.

Regardless of the method you choose for drying herbs, you will discover that your personal stock will give the freshest aroma and flavor than commercially available ones. This year, dry your own herbs and you’ll see what I mean.