How to Trim Herbs to Keep Their Freshness
Garden herbs are popular and are used for medical purposes and for flavoring food recipes, in fact, herb use has been dated back as far as 13,000 B. C. and 25,000 B.C. The traditional method for growing garden herbs is outdoors in a garden setting but herbs can also be grown in an indoor environment or living space. Once these herbs reach maturity how can we help them to keep their natural forms that will encourage more healthy growth and freshness? Below we will be discussing this along with how to dry and store herbs and the benefits of pruning herbs. So let’s take a closer look at how to prune indoor herbs.
Extending the Season by Growing Herbs Indoors
While the winter months present the perfect time or opportunity to grow herbs indoors, herbs can in fact be grown indoors year-round. Now that you have planted your herbs and they are growing so beautifully it’s time to prune them or give them a good trimming because that’s the reason they were grown for your (flavoring your favorite food recipes) enjoyment.
Garden Herb Catergories
Garden herbs can be divided into 2 Categories, ever green and Herbaceous.
Ever Green Herbs
- Bee balm
- Sweet fennel
How to Prune Indoor Herbs
The use of clean sharp scissors is necessary when cutting back or trimming herbs, the reason for this is that you don’t want to use dull scissors that will tear the leaves encouraging disease. What you want is to make those nice clean cuts, however, scissors that are unsterilized can also cause the onset set of disease, pruning herbs back such as cilantro and basil will discourage or delay these plants from going to seed which means they will produce more top growth or leaves supplying you with a greater yield.
When pruning or trimming your herbs don’t remove more than one-third of the leaves because if you remove more than that you will not have much plant/plants left. Removing 1-2 inches of the end part of the plant’s stems will promote a healthier bushier plant/plants, the end that is exposed will split and grow into two separate branches.
How to Drying Herbs
Dry herbs can flavor your food recipes just as much as fresh herbs, I prepare my meals with both dry and fresh herbs which brings a satisfying flavor. Once you have trimmed your herbs and you have an abundance left over don’t throw them away because these herbs can be dried and used for future use but how are herbs dried?
4 Methods of Drying and Preserving Herbs
1. Rack Drying
Rack drying herbs involve using strips of cheesecloths or string to tie a few stalks of herbs in a small bunch and then hanging them in the upside-down position on racks. Racks for herb drying comes in many styles and colors.
2. Oven drying
The leaves of rosemary, thyme, basils, etc… should be removed from the stalks. Next place herb leaves on a baking tray with cookie sheets which will provide adequate spacing. Turn the oven knob to the lowest Temperature. After half an hour, turn the leaves over for another 30 minutes. Allow leaves to cool before removing them from the oven.
3. Hanging to dry
Tie a few stalks in small bunches in the upside-down position. Wrap leaves in tin paper bags to catch fallen leaves. After ten days leaves should be dry, never wrap leaves in plastic because the moisture from plastic will cause mold to develop.
4. A Well Ventilated Area
The flower, stems or leaves can be exposed to the warm air that’s dry in an area that has good ventilation, allow herbs to remain in this area until all of the moisture has dried out.
Although dry herbs have flavors if they are allowed to be unused for a long time will lose their potency, so ensure you are using dry herbs on a regular basis.
3 Methods of Storing Herbs
- Place herbs in an airtight glass jar
- Store herbs in a cool place
- Keep them stored in a dry place
Herb Pruning Advantages
- Pruning herbs will promote a fuller and healthy plant
- Control the rate of growth
- Proper air circulation
- Can direct growth
The final word on how to prune indoor herbs
Pruning indoor herbs is that simple as discussed earlier, growing herbs will allow you to extend the season during the colder months. What better way to make an investment than to grow indoor herbs, the time spent growing and harvesting herbs is worth the effort and can work many wonders as you use them in your favorite food recipes to bring that wow. Herbs can wake up your foods with a delightful and amazing taste along with their aromas. Give this method of growing and pruning herbs a try, you will love the results.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.