Before your plants are killed by frost, get one last harvest in and dry your remaining leaves to use over the winter. Try these delicious combinations or experiment and make up some of your own. According to your microwave and how much herbs you have in it, it can take about 2-5 minutes. It is very easy to grow herbs. Q: I have a ton of lemon balm and mint growing in my garden. We’ll go over the steps for both methods, as well as how to prepare your herbs to be dried. You must have JavaScript enabled to use this form. This will take about 1-2 weeks before it's dried. Let it simmer for about five to fifteen minutes and it's ready to drink. Harvest herbs in mid-morning before newly developed essential oils have been burned off by the sun, but after the dew has dried. Since herb teas are naturally light in color, test by taste rather than by sight. Citrus Spice - equal parts lemon basil, bee balm flowers, and orange mint. Specially herbs with soft leaves like Comfrey, Basil, Borage, Fennel, Dill and Parsley. Air-drying herbs for tea This is the simplest and most common method of drying herbs for tea. Calming Stress Reliever -  3 parts chamomile flowers, 2 parts lemon balm, and 1 part holy basil. The bees appreciated the blossoms though and the bubblegum aroma wafted over the garden on hot days. Dried herbs are wonderful for cooking, baking, making tea, DIY beauty products, and crafting things for the home, like herb sachets! There are two main methods to drying fresh herbs, air drying and using a machine such as a dehydrator. Many tea aficionados don’t like to use the metal strainers, claiming they give the tea a metallic taste and don’t allow the herbs to fully swell and release their flavors. Keep the jars out of the light and … Image: Drying on a screen gives good airflow and can be faster than drying in bunches. Tired of tea made from a single herb? It can take up to a week or more for them to dry depending on the humidity in the air. I noticed that too! Use an indoor clothesline, laundry rack, closet rod, or exposed rafters to keep them off the ground. 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. To dry seeds: Hang bunches of flowers inside a paper bag. 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. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. This is a low-cost method that basically needs only air and time. It grew so prolifically I couldn’t keep up! If you don't have a garden you can always grow it on your terrace, balcony or even inside in you window. Oven drying: Put the herbs on a sheet in a thin layer and place them in a low setting oven. You would remove leaves from the stems if you were drying them on a rack or in the oven or microwave. Make sure that there are no yellowed or shriveled growth, and no egg clusters on the undersides of the leaves. Growing your own herbs can save you a lot of money. This is my favorite combo. Once the herbs are dry, store them in ceramic containers or in dark glass jars with tight-fitting lids because herbs will deteriorate when they get exposed to oxygen. Enjoy a reminder of the garden this winter over a cup of homegrown herb tea. Learn more about how to dry and freeze herbs. (When the growing season has ended, you can cut the plants right back to the ground if you wish.). Look for smaller plants that have promising features like thick stems and dark green leaves. The chocolate mint was extremely strong and aromatic and the holy basil especially sweet and fruity this year. Better than bouillon! If you are having trouble drying in humid weather, you could resort to the oven but that it is not optimal for tea. A combination of lemon balm, lemon verbena, and spearmint make a refreshing tea, served hot or cold. Don't forget to put labels on your containers! Every summer I swear I’m going to dry them for tea, but I never do.Does anyone have any tips for doing this?I was even wondering if I could give away jars of dried mint as gifts, or find fillable tea bags. If you decide to buy a plant it's important to pick healthy, viable specimens. BONUS: You’ll also receive our Almanac Companion newsletter! Preparing the Mint Harvest the mint. The herbs are ready when they are as dry as paper and they crumble when you rub them between your fingers. Just because you live in an apartment and you don't have a garden it doesn't mean that you can't grow herbs. Remove old, dead, diseased or wilted leaves… When the leaves are fully dried, strip them from the stems and store in an airtight glass jar kept in a dark cool place. For thicker parts or heavier roots it may take more than a year. It’s simple. 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. For any variety of mint, the herb is ready for harvest just before … The best time to plant your herbs is spring. Store your herbs in small glass jars with tight fitting lids. First, cut a string around 12 to 18 inches long. Mediterranean Blend - equal parts summer savory, marjoram, and rosemary. Most herbs taste best if you harvest them before the plant flowers. Put one tablespoon of the kind of herb that you prefer in a tea ball and put it in one cup of boiling water. Proper drying will preserve the leaves and concentrate the flavors. Temperatures that are too hot—over 85 to 90°—will cause volatile oils to evaporate. Keep the herbs in a dark and cool place like a closet or a cupboard. A dry summer here helped to concentrate the flavors, making for some tasty teas. And what are other uses for dried mint?Sent by LeahEditor: Readers, how do you dry herbs? Air drying: Simply tie them in bunches (about 5-6 flowers in every bunch) and hang them upside-down in a dark and dry place, about 70 F. Depending on what kind of herb you are drying it can take a few days and up to weeks for them to dry completely. Keep in mind that overbrewed tea can be bitter. The dried seeds will fall down to the bottom of the bag. Set your herbs in the trays and leave a little room for air circulation between branches and leaves. Making herb tea is very simple. Even though fall is here, the party doesn’t have to end. To dry leaves and flowers: Spread the leaves and flowers in a basket. She and her partner Tom have a small greenhouse business and also sell plants, cut flowers, and vegetables at their local Farmer’s Market. Storing. Some herbs can also be frozen. Or, you could spread the plants out on a clean screen (or paper towels laid over a wire rack) in a cool, dry spot. Sorry for the confusion. Victorian Tea Garden - equal parts pineapple sage, chamomile flowers, and lemon balm. Image: Drying on a screen gives good airflow and can be faster than drying in bunches. Robin has been a contributor to The Old Farmer’s Almanac and the All-Seasons Garden Guide for many years. Grab the bounty of fresh herbs while you can—and let’s dry those leaves for tea. Chamomile, lemon verbena, lemon balm, and any of the mints—peppermint, orange mint, and spearmint—are all ideal for tea. Most herbs like to be in the sun. Dried herbs can retain their medicinal value for years. (If you are making Comfrey tea, prepare it the same way but you need to use cold water). You don’t want to rinse the leaves in the sink because they can mold instead of drying. The best spot for drying herbs is dark (or at least out of direct sunlight), dry, clean, and free of smoke, dust, cooking oils, and steam. Relaxing and Refreshing - 2 parts lemon balm to 1 part spearmint. Luscious Licorice - equal parts anise hyssop, sweet cicely, and fennel leaves. Custom programming and server maintenance by, Harvest the leaves in the morning after the dew has dried. If you are having trouble drying in humid weather, you could resort to the oven but that it is not optimal for tea. Leave in the dehydrator until the herbs are dry -- from 12 to 24 hours. Image: Just a few of the last bunches harvested before frost. Learn more about how to dry and freeze herbs. Unplug the dehydrator and let cool for a few hours. Carefully brush off any dirt. 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.