Harvesting Storage

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For herbs that will be used immediately, pick when the plants are actively growing, in spring, summer and autumn. Always give the plants a chance to grow, so wait until they are established before cutting for use and storage. "Little and often" is a good guideline when cutting herbs.


Most herbs can also be picked for winter storage and use, but some herbs such as basil, parsley and chives should be used fresh wherever possible.

Picking and harvesting herbs for storage and winter use is relatively easy to do, but it is important to do this at the proper stage of the herbs' growth.

Most herbs should be harvested for storage just as they come into flower and before the seeds form, as they will be at their best then. Ideally they should be gathered on a warm dry day, so that the leaves and flowers are already quite dry. Gather them in the morning before they begin to wilt in the heat of the day. Discard any old or discoloured leaves, and cut only those that are free from damage.

There are two main ways of preserving herbs - DRYING and FREEZING.

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Herbs 101

Herbs 101

Learn what you can do with herbs! How to Plant, Grow, and Cook with Natural Herbs. Have you always wanted an herb garden but didn't know how to get started? Do you want to know more about growing your own herbs in the privacy of your home and using them in a variety of cooking?

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