You’ve been hard at work growing herbs in your garden or collecting them while out foraging. Or maybe you’re like me and you do both! Don’t let all that hard work go to waste; make sure you preserve your bounty. And there’s no easier way to do it than with this easy hang and forget method!
How do you hang herbs to preserve them for future use?
Before you do anything, you’ll want to try and gather herbs with stems still intact. Leave yourself some room to tie a string around the base when you’re ready to dry them. Once you’ve finished picking your herbs, be sure to clean them. Simply shake off any dirt that’s collected on the leaves, then rinse in a bowl of cool water. There’s no need to drown the the herbs. Just give them a quick rinse.
Once they’ve had their little bath, use a piece of string, bailing twine, or ribbon to tie small bouquets of herbs together. You can use a clothespin to hang them from a line in a dry place, out of the sun, in your house. Personally, I’m a bailing twine addict. I use it to put up a simple all-purpose line indoors to hang herbs, laundry, and even artwork to dry.
When you are tying your herb bouquets, be careful that you don’t make them too thick. It’s important that all of the moisture is removed from the herbs over the duration of the drying process. You’ll want to check in on them every few days. If needed, retie bouquets by moving the stems on the inside to the out, and vice virsa. Some herbs, like several of the ones in my photo above, have large, thick stems and can be hung individually. I like to secure stems and small bouquets using a clothespin.
How long do I need to hang my herbs to dry before they’re done?
Hang drying herbs isn’t a quick process. It may take over a month for them to dry, my average being about four weeks. Of course different things like humidity and temperature will play a part in how long it takes your herbs to dry. So will other factors like the type of herb, stem thickness and so on. Check in on them regularly, and you’ll learn which herbs dry in the different amounts of time. Just make sure you don’t package them until they are dry. The last thing you want to do is allow mold to set in! Don’t want to wait weeks for your herbs to dry? Give my easy and frugal method of using your car as a dehydrator a try!
Do you dry your own herbs? Got any tips to share?