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Introduction to Herb Growing and Drying with Trago!

0 Comments Gardens   (on 23-Mar-2018 04:43 AM)

You don’t need to have the greenest of thumbs to get a herb garden going so they’re a great place to start if you’re looking to start a mini-garden of your own. Not only are they easy to care for, you can dry them out to use in your own kitchen for free seasoning!

 

Growing Your Own Herbs

 

Herbs don’t require much in the way of fancy containers, though you are more than welcome to get a special pot to store them in. To get started on a budget, it can be as simple as cutting a fizzy drinks bottle in half, popping some small holes in the base and putting in some loose soil. Remember to put a small saucer or plate underneath to avoid leaking! Herbs need plenty of light to keep that in mind when you’re choosing the perfect spot for your little garden and they’ll also need to be sheltered.

 

Herbs are a great indoor plant to get started with and many hardy varieties such as dill, coriander and parsley can survive outdoors all year round. Keeping herbs outdoors may cut down on how much fresh produce your herbs are able to make but obviously you’ll be able to plant a much larger amount for a bigger harvest!

 

Don’t use live herbs that you may find in a supermarket as these are not designed to live past a few weeks. Instead you can either buy small cuttings or plant your own seeds to start from scratch. We even have a helpful diagram for you to show when some of our favourite herbs are at their best to be planted and how much water they need!

 


 

As you can see, the period between growing and harvesting herbs varies but many of them are quite rapid at growing so you won’t have to wait long before there are herbs to harvest! When harvesting, try not to take more than a third of the plant, so it’s able to replenish and work from the outside in to encourage more growth. Once you’re ready to harvest, you’ll want to start drying!

 

How to Dry Your Herbs

 

You can opt to either air dry or oven dry your herbs, both methods don’t require any special tools and are very easy to do. Air drying is a great method for low moisture herbs like oregano, rosemary and marjoram. Oven drying is best for herbs with larger leaves and more moisture like basil, chive or mint.

 

To air dry, simply gather some branches of the herb together and secure them together with a rubber band. Bear in mind that a small bundle will dry faster. Once gathered, put them in a paper bag and place them somewhere with gentle warmth like an airing cupboard or potentially a shelf over your boiler. Check back at regular intervals until the herbs are crisp. 

 

For oven drying, preheat your oven to 45 degrees, and turn the herbs regularly until they are crisp. This is easier for smaller amounts of herbs that are grown indoors.

 

Once your herbs are dried, pick them from the stalks or stems and crush them into powder. This can be done with a rolling pin or with a traditional mortar and pestle. Then simply store them in an airtight container and keep them out of direct light. They should last for months or even years!

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