How to Harvest an Herb Garden


Fresh herbs from the garden add flavor to the dishes you create in the kitchen. Harvest your herb garden before the snow falls to enjoy those same flavors throughout the year. Dried or frozen, the essence of your herbs will enhance your culinary experience all winter long. To gain the most flavor, harvest your herbs from the garden just before their flowering stage.

Step 1

Clip 6-inch to 8-inch sections of the herbs with garden sheers, and place them in a tub of water to wash. Do not scrub them, but make sure the dirt is removed. You'll also be washing off insecticides and other chemicals.

Step 2

Gather the cuttings together by the clipped end, and wrap them with a section of twine. Do not make the bunched clippings too dense, because you want air to penetrate so your herbs will dry.

Step 3

Hang the bundles of herbs in a cool, dry place until they are completely dried. The clippings will be brittle and should not be disturbed until you are ready to strip the leaves from the stalks and store them.

Step 4

Strip the herb leaves by gently running your hand down the clipping until the only things left are stems.

Step 5

Store your dried herbs in a sealed container, such as a glass jar or spice bottle. Label your containers for easy access later.

Step 6

Harvest and store fresh herbs in your freezer by clipping and washing as with dried herbs. After washing, remove the leaves and place them in ice cube trays filled with spring water. Freeze and remove to plastic storage bags for later use.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch for mold when hanging your herbs to dry. Remove and discard any herbs showing signs of mold.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shears
  • Twine
  • Ice cube trays
  • Spring water


  • Drying Herbs
  • Preserving Herbs
Keywords: harvesting herbs, storing herbs, drying herbs, gathering herbs

About this Author

Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for over 30 years, and published a variety of e-books and articles on gardening, small business and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor's degree in English.