Saturday, February 11, 2012

Where do i trim my herbs?

I can find all sorts of information on the web about herbs, but I can't find anything specific about what place on the plant I should be cutting the leaves off to dry them. The plant is getting overgrown and I need to take some off to dry.

If it makes a difference, here are the herbs I'm growing:

spearmint, oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, dill, and rosemary.
Where do i trim my herbs?
With most of these herbs it is not critical where you cut them. Do take off flowers. Just cut up to one third off the tops of the ones you want to dry. Most of them will just get bushier after you cut, so as long as they are making more growth you can keep on cutting. I hope this helps.
Reply:I wouldn't recommend cutting very close to the ground. The plant needs leaves in order to continue to live, so make sure that you leave a good amount of leaves in order for the plants to photosynthesize. I wouldn't cut more than 50 or 60 percent of the plant, wouldn't want to shock it too much.

Make sure that you keep the herbs from flowering (not as important with rosemary) particularly the basil, make sure the flowers are trimmed, flavor changes when the plant produces flowers, also, they will stop growing and put all their energy into making seed. With dill, you may want the seeds, so you could let it flower and go to seed. If you do this, than the greens will begin to die back.

With rosemary, Id just cut sprigs and use them fresh. Let that rosemary grow and get lovely.

This is just my personal opinion, but basil is better frozen. Wash the leaves, make sure they are allowed to fully dry off, and then stick em in a bag and put em in the freezer.
Reply:Never let them flower! Once they do, the taste and texture are yucky.
Reply:Pick as much as you want from the growing ends of the plant. Leave some leaves on the lower parts of the stalks to support further growth. The will get bushier when you trim them and it's good for the plant.

When we dry herbs we lay them out on a cookie sheet covered in paper towels and put them on top of the fridge. We turn them once or twice a day and they dry in a few days.

This method seems to retain the oils and flavors better than the dehydrator.

Dry basil will keep in a paper bag and some people save little bottles or other containers to keep them in.

We keep herbs fresh for year round use as well. Nothing tastes better than fresh herbs and especially rosemary.

Do an experiment and taste some dried herbs with fresh and you will see the difference.

With the cost of everything going up it makes sense to always have some fresh herbs on hand. You can grow them in a sunny window and out doors in containers or in the garden as climate allows.
Reply:Apart from the rosemary all of them should be cut in a clump, about a third of the plant, almost to the ground. Meaning cut as much as you want right to the base of the stem leaving the uncut portion to support the plant whilst the piece you cut grows back.

With rosemary just cut like a hedge or half way down a side branch. It doesn't really matter as it will grow back from the point you cut.

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