Clipped a little bit of lemon balm the other day. My plant has gotten really huge and I'm in need of more dried lemon balm for tea making.
Yes, of course tea can be made from fresh leaves, and I love tea made from fresh leaves,but I also love storing away the garden's goodness for later use.
To air dry lemon balm:
1. After you have your clippings....Wash the plant to get rid of dirt and any tiny bugs away.
2. Then place your washed plants(single layer only) on paper towels. The plants stay there until all water is gone.
3. After the plants have finished drying, I gather a few stems and tie string around them, so they'll be able to air dry overnight or until they feel real crunchy.
4. Now, that your plant is fully dry,it's time to strip dried leaves from stems. I prefer to crush my leaves because I love the intense smell of lemon I get from crushing. However, whole herbs hold their flavor longer than crushed herbs, so you make the call on this.
5. Last but not least, store your herbs away. Store them in a cool, dry place. Don't forget to label and date.
This is just one way to dry lemon balm....you can use a dehydrator, the oven, and I've even read somewhere that some people use a dehumidifier.
Do you dry fresh herbs at home, and if so, what's your method for drying?
P.S. Sorry I didn't give you step by step photos, and I didn't have the fan blowing to dry the plants. It was a good place to hang the plants, so they could air dry.