To dry leaves and flowers: Spread the leaves and flowers in a basket. Citrus Spice - equal parts lemon basil, bee balm flowers, and orange mint. Set your herbs in the trays and leave a little room for air circulation between branches and leaves. Keep the jars out of the light and … Dried herbs are wonderful for cooking, baking, making tea, DIY beauty products, and crafting things for the home, like herb sachets! Dried herbs can retain their medicinal value for years. Q: I have a ton of lemon balm and mint growing in my garden. Remove old, dead, diseased or wilted leaves… Microwave drying: Put the herbs on a plate and set the microwave on low. Ideally you should harvest before the plants flower for the best flavor but this is last call. For any variety of mint, the herb is ready for harvest just before … Make small bunches and hang them upside down in a warm dry place out of direct sunlight. Preparing the Mint Harvest the mint. If you are having trouble drying in humid weather, you could resort to the oven but that it is not optimal for tea. If you grew some of the plants mentioned in the Calming Herbs post from this spring, hopefully you have been enjoying them in iced and hot teas over the summer. Relaxing and Refreshing - 2 parts lemon balm to 1 part spearmint. If you like your tea sweet, add a dried stevia leaf to each cup. Better than bouillon! The best time to plant your herbs is spring. It grew so prolifically I couldn’t keep up! Make sure that there are no yellowed or shriveled growth, and no egg clusters on the undersides of the leaves. Keep in mind that overbrewed tea can be bitter. I noticed that too! The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. You would remove leaves from the stems if you were drying them on a rack or in the oven or microwave. Storing. Before your plants are killed by frost, get one last harvest in and dry your remaining leaves to use over the winter. The bees appreciated the blossoms though and the bubblegum aroma wafted over the garden on hot days. Just because you live in an apartment and you don't have a garden it doesn't mean that you can't grow herbs. The chocolate mint was extremely strong and aromatic and the holy basil especially sweet and fruity this year. You can use a teaball to keep leaves from clogging the teapot’s spout or use an infuser to brew just a single cup. Learn more about how to dry and freeze herbs. This is a low-cost method that basically needs only air and time. Some herbs can also be frozen. It is very easy to grow herbs. Set the dehydrator to 135ºF and place the trays in the dehydrator. You should make sure that your herbs get at least 6 hours of sun a day. This will take about 1-2 weeks before it's dried. Get inspired by Robin Sweetser’s backyard gardening tips and tricks. When the leaves are fully dried, strip them from the stems and store in an airtight glass jar kept in a dark cool place. Bring the water just to a boil, add anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of dried herbs per cup of water to your teapot and let steep for 3-5 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. Let it simmer for about five to fifteen minutes and it's ready to drink. Most herbs like to be in the sun. Luscious Licorice - equal parts anise hyssop, sweet cicely, and fennel leaves. Air-drying herbs for tea This is the simplest and most common method of drying herbs for tea. Leave in the dehydrator until the herbs are dry -- from 12 to 24 hours. I have a friend who uses her French press to make tea. Or, you could spread the plants out on a clean screen (or paper towels laid over a wire rack) in a cool, dry spot. Specially herbs with soft leaves like Comfrey, Basil, Borage, Fennel, Dill and Parsley. Custom programming and server maintenance by, Harvest the leaves in the morning after the dew has dried. Even though fall is here, the party doesn’t have to end. You don’t want to rinse the leaves in the sink because they can mold instead of drying. Don't forget to put labels on your containers! Carefully brush off any dirt. For thicker parts or heavier roots it may take more than a year. Image: Drying on a screen gives good airflow and can be faster than drying in bunches. It can take up to a week or more for them to dry depending on the humidity in the air. The dried seeds will fall down to the bottom of the bag. Proper drying will preserve the leaves and concentrate the flavors. If you are having trouble drying in humid weather, you could resort to the oven but that it is not optimal for tea. First, cut a string around 12 to 18 inches long. Tired of tea made from a single herb? Grab the bounty of fresh herbs while you can—and let’s dry those leaves for tea. Mediterranean Blend - equal parts summer savory, marjoram, and rosemary. This is my favorite combo. Since herb teas are naturally light in color, test by taste rather than by sight. If you don't have a garden you can always grow it on your terrace, balcony or even inside in you window. Robin has been a contributor to The Old Farmer’s Almanac and the All-Seasons Garden Guide for many years. There are two main methods to drying fresh herbs, air drying and using a machine such as a dehydrator. (If you are making Comfrey tea, prepare it the same way but you need to use cold water). Temperatures that are too hot—over 85 to 90°—will cause volatile oils to evaporate. Put one tablespoon of the kind of herb that you prefer in a tea ball and put it in one cup of boiling water. And what are other uses for dried mint?Sent by LeahEditor: Readers, how do you dry herbs? When it's time for harvesting make sure that you choose the healthiest plants. Making herb tea is very simple. A combination of lemon balm, lemon verbena, and spearmint make a refreshing tea, served hot or cold. Look for smaller plants that have promising features like thick stems and dark green leaves. (When the growing season has ended, you can cut the plants right back to the ground if you wish.).