Here's my vertical garden before the harvest. Pretty as it is, it was getting too full. I had already cut back the basil last week, but everything else was overdue.
I think I may have been a little overly ambitious when I planned out my first herb garden this season. I'm not even cooking that much anymore, so I'm not really sure what possessed me to plant so much! That said, I am in love with the whole look of the vertical garden, not to mention the wonderful scents that greet me everytime I get near it.
In order to keep the plants healthy, it is necessary to cut them back when the get too full, or in the case of basil, before it goes to flower.
I want to stress, I am a novice. I have done a lot of reading and searching online for ways to dry herbs, and the following tutorial is the way I have chosen to preserve my first harvest.
Freshly cut thyme, sage, mint, oregano, rosemary, lemon balm, and parsley.
I prepared twist ties by forming a small loop in the center.
I gathered up small bunches of like herbs and used the twist ties to bundle them up.
For the next steps, I gathered up paper bags, twine, scissors, hole punch, and a marker.
I labeled the bags with the name of each herb and then, while still flat, punched holes all the way around.
Cut lengths of twine about 18" long. They were then threaded through the loops in the twist ties. I had large paper bags so I had decided to place several bundles in each bag. Once in place, I stapled shut, encasing the twine in the center staple.
Believe it or not, this is the garden after the harvest. The bags are all hanging in my basement where there is a dehumidifier running. The bags will catch any leaves that fall while drying. The herbs should be dry within the next two weeks. Once dried, I'll be storing them in airtight jars.