NGA Articles: Best Herbs for Teas

Best Herbs for Teas (cont)

By: Evelyn Gaspar

Harvesting

Aromatic oils are most concentrated when herb plants are in bud, so that's a good time to harvest, although you can certainly take cuttings here and there during the growing season. Cut back the entire plant by two thirds. In my region, I get about three cuttings before letting the plants go.

The plants listed here can all be used fresh for tea, or they can be dried first. To dry them, I spread the stems on trays in a warm, airy place and turn them twice a day. When they're dry (four to eight days), I gently strip off the leaves, buds or flowerheads and store them in closed containers.

I cut stalk fennel and coriander when the seeds are barely mature, but before they shatter, and invert them in paper sacks. In a few weeks, when the seeds have dropped to the bottom and dried, I funnel them into storage containers.

Photo by Suzanne DeJohn/National Gardening Association

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