How to Grow Dehydrated Herbs
- 1). Pick your herbs just after morning dew. The moisture will keep your herbs from decaying and it will be early enough to make sure that essential oils in the plants have not been driven down into the roots of the plant. Keep in mind what type of herb you are picking. If the herb you are picking only requires the leaf or flower, then that is the part of the flower that you will harvest.
- 2). Separate your herbs into categories. Herbs that remain on stems need to be gathered into bunches and tied together with a rubber band. Place the bundle inside a bag--a paper bag works well. Then tie a rubber band around the bag as well. Hang them upside down in a dark area. The herbs will take up to 2 weeks to completely dry out.
- 3). Dehydrate leafy herbs. For those herbs that are off the leafs, place leaves in a thin layer on the bottom of a dehydrator. Make sure to take off the top tray of the dehydrator. Run it on the lowest setting for 5 to 8 hours. Flip the leaves over and allow another 5 to 8 hours of dehydrating.
- 4). Use newspaper if a dehydrator is not available. Place the herbs between two sheets of newspaper. Place in a warm place, preferably in direct sunlight. Keep out for a whole day , then flip and leave out another day. Keep an eye on these because mildew can form if not flipped quickly enough.
- 5). Use a window screen if needed. If a dehydrator is not available, and you are not able to check frequently enough to ward off mildew, window screens are a great option. Place a window screen on top of a brick or platform with the herbs in a flat layer. Then place another window screen with a weight to hold it down. Keep in an area that can have air, without having a direct breeze that will blow the herbs away. Remove herbs from the window screen, dehydrator, bag, and newpaper and store in a cool, dry place till needed.