Let me just start out by saying that I am no gardener. At best, I’m a plant mama in training.
But I did manage to keep the majority of my herbs alive through the heat of summer down here in the South, and I have to say I’m pretty proud of that!
I did regrettably lose my cilantro plant to the heat early on though… it left us far too soon. But my rosemary, thyme, basil, and onion chives on the other hand persevered!
So when the summer started to wind down and I realized that my herbs were on their last legs, I didn’t want to just sit by and watch their goodness go to waste!
So I used two simple herb saving techniques to make sure I would be able to use my faithful plants all winter long! After all – it was hard work to keep them alive for this long (at least for me).
2 SIMPLE TRICKS TO HELP YOUR HERB GARDEN LAST ALL WINTER LONG
Now when I say simple, I mean really simple. These won’t take you long at all, but you’ll be able to reap the benefits of your minimal work for months to come.
1. FREEZE BASIL IN OLIVE OIL.
And yes, it’s as simple as it sounds! This is such a fast and simple trick that can be done in minutes!
Pick off all the salvageable basil leaves on your plant, wash them, then chop them up a little bit to release some of that fragrance.
Grab an ice cube tray (I used a freezer-safe baby food tray), and evenly distribute your basil leaves throughout.
Then, grab some olive oil and cover the basil. If you don’t have a lot of basil in your tray, don’t use a lot of olive oil — just cover it.
Next, you guessed it — throw it in the freezer. Once frozen, you can pop the olive oil cubes out of the tray and store them in a freezer-safe ziplock bag.
Pull them out whenever you are making a soup, stew, or sauce (like a nice pesto!) for a little pre-made starter! Once heated, the oil will melt down to its normal consistency, and you’ll have the next best thing from fresh basil out of your garden!
2. DEHYDRATE YOUR HERBS AND STORE THEM IN SPICE JARS.
Again, it’s as easy as it sounds! I love it when there are truly simple ways to save your efforts!
Take herbs like thyme and rosemary, pick off all the good sprigs, and wash them off.
Make sure they’re dry, then spread them evenly onto a baking sheet. Preheat your over to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your baking sheet in the oven and set a timer for 1 hour.
After the first hour, check your herbs to see if they crumble between your fingers. If they do, then they’re done! If they don’t, put them back in the oven, checking every 20 minutes until they crumble — you don’t want them to burn!
When they’re ready, take them out of the oven and let them cool. Then crumble them with a mortar and pestle or just with your hands (the route I took!), and place them into labeled spice jars!
My favorites are these adorable wide jars with copper lids from Target. I simply use a permanent marker to label mine (it usually scrubs off with a little soap and water so you don’t have to be committed to one spice per jar forever)!
AND THAT’S IT!
And that’s really it! Such simple and easy ways to save those herbs you’ve worked so hard to keep alive all summer long!
Do you think you’ll save your herbs this year? Let me know in the comments!
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