Drying Herbs – The Bridge Cottage Way

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Homegrown herbs

Homegrown herbs

Drying herbs can save you money and provide a good amount of flavoursome ingredients for the kitchen and medicine cabinet. Herbs that you have grown or foraged can and should be used when they are at their seasonal best. However, herbs can be preserved for use throughout the year by drying, and can then be used in your cooking, made into herbal and floral vinegar, herbal salt, and teas.

By growing, foraging and preserving your own herbs you will be living a more sustainable lifestyle by reducing transport costs and the need for single-use plastic and throw away packaging. You will be able to grow them as organically as you can, and will be assisting the biodiversity in your garden.

Head over to the Bridge Cottage Garden page to find out more about growing herbs.

Rule number one is to pick your herbs on a dry day. The less moisture there is to dry in the leaf and stem, the quicker your herb will dry and retain its properties. A damp or soggy herb will only slow the process down.

Drying herbs in an airy place

Drying herbs in an airy place

There are two ways of drying herbs:

 Air Dry

Tie your herbs in small bunches, with a loop knot that tightens as they dry. Be careful not to try in too large a bunch, or the air will not be able to circulate. Hang out of the way in a light, warm and airy room or out-side undercover, but not in direct sunlight.

Avoid hanging in a kitchen and not in a bathroom as steam is not going to be helpful.





drying herbs on a surface

drying herbs on a surface

Dry Flat

This method is good for petals and herbs that have been removed from the stem. Removing from a stem helps your herbs to dry quicker, and this method can be good for herbs such as mint, lemon balm, comfrey.

A wicker basket is a useful tool here, as the gaps in the wicker help the air to circulate around your herbs.

A sheet of paper in a warm and airy room will work, and herbs can be raised on a cooling rack.

I’ve doctored an IKEA hanging rack, by cutting away the back, and hand this in the wardrobe in our spare room, with a window open a touch.

Your herbs will take anything from two days to two weeks to dry, depending on the moisture content and drying conditions.

Herbal tea mix of dried mint, lemon balm, rose, elderflower and lavender

Herbal tea mix of dried mint, lemon balm, rose, elderflower and lavender

Once herbs are dry, and brittle and can be scrunched, place in clean jars and label for use.

Electric dehydrators can also be used, but we try to save on using energy where we can.

We also freeze some herbs for use in cooking – parsley and basil in particular.

Elderflower and mint tea

Elderflower and mint tea

You’ll not be sorry you went to all this effort when you can reach for tasty herbs to use to make a cuppa or to flavour your dinners in the depths of winter.







As ever, we’d love you to share your thoughts, either by leaving a comment here or on our social media pages, where this article will be shared.

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You might enjoy some of the writing and ideas in other section of this website, as we look towards leading more sustainable lives by growing our own food and creating dishes in line with seasonal eating, or head to our handy ‘Month by Month’ guides to find out what is seasonal and on topic:

Many thanks for reading.

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