You have planted the herbs and watched them grow and flourish. They are extremely useful in so many ways. However, you will also know that for a successful home herb garden, there is a bit of work needed.
In order to use the herbs you will need to harvest them first and timing is a huge factor. Did you know that the essential oils in the herbs can be leeched away by the wind and heat?. You should harvest them on a still and dry day sometime around midsummer. On very wet days, herbs make very little of their oils. So wait for a few hours for the early morning dew to evaporate from the leaves and then pick them just before the flowers open. Click here for more: grow herbs at home
When harvesting, you don’t have to remove the whole plant. At this point, you are just taking a certain amount of growth for use. You do not need to use the herbs that you are harvesting at the time that you pick them. You can preserve them to use later.It is important that you leave at least two thirds of the plants foliage ant any time. The plant will need a good amount of foliage to re-grow well. You should also inspect the plant for insects and damaged leaves before you harvest it.
Typically there are three ways that people preserve their herbs for later use; drying, freezing, or preserving them in a medium like salt or vinegar. In order to dry herbs you need to bundle six to twelve stems together and remove any foliage near the base of the stems. You can secure the bundle with string. Hang the bundle in a cool location away from sunlight. For individual leaves, place them on a drying rack. Turn them Remember to turn them often in order for them to dry properly. Some gardeners use machines like ovens or dehydrators etc. to dry herbs, although this may not be as good. For more visit our blog: Herb Gardening Blog
Freezing is a fairly easy method of preservation. Cut the herbs into ¼ inch pieces and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Once the herbs are frozen, you can place them together in a bag and store them in the freezer until use.
The third alternative for storing your herbs is via a medium. For instance, you can cover herbs like chopped mint, basil or tarragon with vinegar and it will be preserved for several months. Or you can preserve your herbs by using alternate layers of flavored salt. The salt will completely dry out the herb and all that is needed is to separate them and store in an airtight tub.
Of course, people often use herbs fresh right out of the garden. Take care cleaning the herbs before they are placed fresh in recipes. In order to clean fresh herbs place them in a bowl filled with cool water. Use a sink if there are a lot of herbs to prepare. Place about two tablespoons of salt in the water. The salt in the water will drive away insects without damaging the plant. Remove the herbs from the water and dry them in a salad spinner.
Different types of herbs are used for many different uses. Each one will need to be picked and prepared in a slightly different way. So make certain you research the type of herb you are preparing beforehand to get the best from it. Click here for more: Herb Garden Guide