Fruit Tree Pollination Guide

Favourite fruit tree

Apples

Fruit tree pollination is very important when selecting trees. One of the most common question asked when planting fruit trees is how many trees do you have to plant in order to get fruit.  It can be a bit confusing as some fruit trees will produce fruit by themselves (self-pollinating) while other types will need 2 or more different varieties in order to set fruit.  Here’s a fruit tree pollination guide to help explain what you need to know.

APPLES – A favourite fruit tree to grow

Plant two or more different varieties for cross pollination to bear fruit. Flowering crabs and wild apples will serve as pollination too. Mutsu is triploid – needs two other varieties. Five-in-one apples have multiple varieties on one trunk and will therefore, pollinate itself.

Pear Fruit tree

Clapp’s Favourite Pear

PEARS – Easy to grow fruit tree

Plant two or more different varieties for best fruit production. Ornamental pears will act as pollinators too.

 

Plum Fruit tree

Plum

PLUMS

EUROPEAN TYPES – Self pollinating. Only one variety is needed to bear fruit.

JAPANESE TYPES – Plant two or more varieties for cross pollination to bear fruit. European types will also pollinate.

 

Apricot Fruit tree

Apricot

APRICOTS

Most are partially self pollinating. You will get some fruit with only one tree.  Although planting two or more varieties will increase fruit yield significantly.

 

Montmorency Cherry fruit tree

Sour Cherry

CHERRIES

SWEET – Stella is self pollinating. Other kinds, like Bing, need two different varieties for cross pollination. SOUR cherries like Montmorency is self pollinating.

 

Peach fruit trees

Peach

PEACHES & NECTARINES

Self pollinating. Only one variety is needed to bear fruit.

Canadale Nurseries offers a complete line of fruit trees, small fruits, berries and superfruits such as goji and haskaps. Please visit us soon to see our great selection.

Growing Your Own Small Fruit

Enjoy the taste of summer by planting rhubarb, strawberries and raspberries now.  Here are a few tips on adding them to your garden.

Rhubarb

rhubarbPrepare a hole 2 feet deep and fill the bottom with a half and half mixture of composted manure and soil. Plant the crown 2 inches below soil level and firm evenly around root. Soak well using an all-purpose 20-20-20 fertilizer. Rhubarb plants are heavy feeders and need regular feeding with a fertilizer such as a 4-12-8. Do not harvest the stalks the first year after planting so they can build strength for the following years. In the fifth year, the rhubarb can be divided.

Strawberries

Delicious strawberries ripening on the plant at an organic strawberry farm

At planting time, prepare the soil by adding plenty of composted manure to provide a rich soil that will hold moisture. Plant a double row 12 inches apart in both directions, each double row 2 to 4 feet apart. Set the plants so that the mid-point of the crown is at soil level. Spread the roots out near the surface before covering with soil to allow proper air circulation and prevent root rot. Water in with an all-purpose 20-20-20 fertilizer. Pick off blossoms the first season to produce strong plants for next year. Fall mulching with straw or similar material is important for proper winter protection.

Raspberries

raspPrepare the soil by mixing in peat moss and composted manure thoroughly. Plant the canes 1 to 2 inches deeper than they were growing so that the first roots are 2 inches below the soil level. Plant the canes 15 to 18 inches apart in rows 2 to 4 feet apart. Water well with an all-purpose 20-20-20- fertilizer and firm in the plants. Raspberries bear on last year’s wood. After bearing, the cane dies. To encourage new cane development, trim out dead canes and then thin out new canes to stand every 6 inches apart to ensure good fruit production. Regular fertilizing will increase yield.

Blueberries

blueberriesBlueberries require acidic soil, so before planting, mix in a lot of peat moss. Blueberry bushes should be planted in early spring. Space plants about 5’ apart. Mulch plants to keep the roots evenly moist and apply fertilizer one month after planting (not at time of planting). If your soil is not naturally acidic (with a PH or 4 or 5) amend the soil with a soil acidifier every month or so. Blueberries are not self-pollinating and need more than one variety to produce fruit. For the first couple of years pinch back the blossoms to stimulate growth and create a stronger plant. Blueberries will be ready to harvest in July-mid August.  For the first few years after planting there is no need to prune blueberry bushes. After that, pruning is needed to stimulate the new growth that will bear fruit the following season. Prune plants in late winter or very early spring, before growth has begun.

Blackberry

Blackberry ApacheHarvest time depends on variety. Large, dark purple berries with a sweet taste.   The plant should be planted as soon as possible (March – May). Before planting remove from pot and soak roots in a bucket of water for 3 – 4 hours. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. Plant about 16” apart. Continue to water well the first few weeks. Feed by mixing in manure or fertilizer. Most varieties of blackberry are self-pollinating, meaning they do not need another variety to produce fruit. In the fall, prune out canes that produced fruit.

Goji Berries

lycium sweet lifeberryGoji is a sprawling shrub with long, flexible canes and clusters of small, grey-green leaves. The flowers are a brilliant royal purple and they appear in late spring/early summer along the length of the canes. They give way to juicy, bright red fruits that resemble small peppers. They grow sweeter as they mature on the plant. Goji plants continue to flower and produce fruit through the first heavy frost. Full sun is best, but tolerates a bit of shade. They grow to about 5-7’ tall. The plants tolerate some drought once established, but for best fruit set and quality, water regularly. Goji naturally wants to sprawl and creep along the ground. To save space and to make harvesting the berries easier, you can bundle the strongest 3-5 canes around a 6-8’ tall stake. Goji does not require pruning to grow well and produce fruit. However, you may find the plant is more manageable and easier to harvest when its lateral (horizontal) branches are lightly pruned to encourage branching and the production of vigorous new growth. Goji berries begin to ripen in early summer. They should be plucked off by hand when they are brilliant red and taste sweet. For an abundant crop, apply a fertilizer formulated for flowering woody plants in early spring, just as new growth begins.

Haskaps (Honeyberries)

haskap sweet blueHaskaps, also known as Honeyberries, are deciduous fruit bearing shrubs that grow about 4-6’ tall. The flavour of the berry is a mix between a blueberry, Saskatoon berry and raspberry. Haskaps are native to cooler temperatures so are ideal for our Canadian climate (hardy to zone 2) and can be planted in spring or fall. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil, although they can grow in moist soil. For individual bushes, plant about 5’ apart. Berries ripen in June and the flavour improves if left longer on the bush. For best fruit production you will need at least two varieties for pollination. Bushes can often produce fruit the very first year after planting, but yield increases significantly after two or three years. To keep shape prune in late winter or very early spring and thin out older branches when the shrub gets too dense.

Gooseberry

gooseberriesA vigorous plant producing plump, large, flavourful fruit ready for harvest mid-summer. Berries hang away from the plant, making them easy to pick. Canes have thorns. Grows about 3’ high and wide.  Plant in full sun to light shade and well-drained soil.  Gooseberries are self-pollinating and do not need another variety to produce fruit. Plant root ball so that its top is at or slightly above the surrounding soil level – do not plant too deeply. Water thoroughly (once a week) for the first year. Mulch deeply. Fertilize lightly with garden food early each spring. Prune in late fall or winter.

Currants

Currant RedCurrants are a deciduous fruiting shrub with berries that are either red, black or white. The plant grows about 3-6’ and the fruit ripens in summer (ripening time depends on variety). Fruits are tart and excellent eaten fresh or used in jams and jellies. Currants are self-pollinating and do not need another variety to produce fruit. When planting, mix soil with ½ triple mix. Plant root ball so that its top is at or slightly above the surrounding soil level – do not plant too deeply. Water thoroughly (once a week) for the first year. Mulch deeply. Fertilize lightly with garden food early each spring. Prune in late fall or winter.

Grapes

Grapes blueGrapevines not only produce sweet and versatile fruits, they add an element of drama to a garden or landscape. They are vigorous growers, and with the proper pruning, they will produce fruit with ease and can last longer than 30 years. Grapes should be planted in early spring. Make sure a trellis or arbour are in place before planting so the vine will have support. Most grapes are self-pollinating and only need one variety to produce fruit. Check with a garden centre attendant to be sure only one variety is needed. Before planting, soak roots in water for two to three hours. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil (keep soil loose for air circulation). Plant grapes 6 to 10’ apart. Dig the hole slightly deeper than planted in the pot (don’t tamp down when refilling hole) and water well. Prune the top back to two or three buds when planting. In the first couple of years, the vine should not be allowed to produce fruit. It needs to strengthen its root system before it can support the extra weight of fruit. Canes will only produce fruit once so prune annually when vines are dormant, in March or April. Remember, the more you prune, the more grapes you will have. Do not fertilize in the first year unless you have problem soil. Fertilize lightly in the second year of growth and every year after. Use mulch to keep an even amount of moisture around the vines. Harvest time depends on variety.

Elderberry

ElderberriesElderberries are deciduous fruiting shrubs that produce bluish-black small berries that are used in jams, jellies, wines and juices. The berries are generally not eaten fresh as they are quite bitter. Berries are harvested towards the end of summer (mid April – September). Plant elderberries in spring in full sun and well-drained soil. Amend soil with manure and peat moss. Elderberries will need consistent moisture, especially in the hot summer months. Plant bushes about 3’ apart. Pick off blossoms the first year to create a stronger plant and better yield the second year. Elderberries are partially self-pollinating. This means you will get some fruit with just one variety, but planting a second variety will increase fruit production significantly.

Boysenberry

BoysenberriesBoysenberries are a cross between blackberries, raspberries and loganberries. They have a late summer harvest of long, dark purple fruit with a sweet taste. Growth is vigorous and the plants need to be tied to a fence. This plant should be planted as soon as possible (March – May). Before planting remove from pot and soak roots in a bucket of water for 3 – 4 hours. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. Plant about 6’ apart. Continue to water well the first few weeks. Feed by mixing in manure or fertilizer. Boysenberries are self-pollinating and do not need another variety to produce fruit. In the fall, prune out canes that produced fruit.

Loganberry

LoganberryA blackberry-raspberry cross. Late summer harvest with large, long, dark red fruit with a sweet taste. Growth is vigorous and the plants need to be tied to a fence. The plant should be planted as soon as possible (March – May). Before planting remove from pot and soak roots in a bucket of water for 3 – 4 hours. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. Plant about 1’ apart. Continue to water well the first few weeks. Feed by mixing in manure or fertilizer. Loganberries  are self-pollinating and do not need another variety to produce fruit. In the fall, prune out canes that produced fruit.

Tayberry

TayberryA blackberry-raspberry cross. Late summer harvest with large, long, dark red fruit with a sweet taste. Growth is vigorous and the plants need to be tied to a fence. The plant should be planted as soon as possible (March – May). Before planting remove from pot and soak roots in a bucket of water for 3 – 4 hours. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. Plant about 1’ apart. Continue to water well the first few weeks. Feed by mixing in manure or fertilizer. Tayberries are self-pollinating and do not need another variety to produce fruit. In the fall, prune out canes that produced fruit.

Brazelberries

brazel berry blueberrySimple to grow, exceptionally beautiful and delicious – just for the home gardener! These plants are like nothing seen before. With exquisite ornamental qualities and amazing fruit, these are berry plants that belong front and center in decorative patio containers and in the landscape. All of the varieties in the BrazelBerries® collection are self-pollinating, that is, they do not require another variety to be planted nearby in order to produce berries. Fertilizing your BrazelBerries plants is not necessary for them to grow and produce tasty berries however; it can help your plant thrive and fair better. Make sure the plant has consistent moisture but isn’t overwatered. If growing Brazelberries in pots, move them into an unheated shed for winter.

Edibles – Colourful & Fun!

Edibles are fun to grow and add interest to the ornamental garden. This is an extremely popular gardening trend for 2016. Growing vegetables and fruit in the landscape adds function, texture and beauty to your garden. But adding edibles can also be fun!

Take a look at some of the colourful, fun edibles we have available now!

Carrots – rainbow edibles

Carrot RainbowAccording to the National Garden Bureau, 2016 is officially the year of the carrot! Carrots are a very easy vegetable to grow at home in the garden or in containers. The leaves offer a lovely lacey texture that generally grows only to around a foot high and the roots are not limited to just orange. Coming in a rainbow of colours, you can grow almost any colour carrot you want: pink, purple, yellow, red, white and black. A very attractive versatile veggie to add in any landscape or patio pot!

Beets

Beet ChioggiaBeets have always had a reputation as being one of the healthiest foods in the world, so naturally kids never want to eat them! Well, you can kiss this problem goodbye by choosing to grow fabulously colourful beets in your garden. Yes, the standard red beet can still be found, but today, beets also come in gold, purple, white and…RED & WHITE STRIPED! Note: Beets need more phosphorous to develop, so lay off the fertilizers with a high first number (nitrogen) or you’ll get amazing greens, with itty, bitty beet roots!

 

Lettuce & Kale – healthy edibles

Lettuce Red RomaineLettuce and Kale are cool-weather vegetables that can be planted outside right now! They are easy to grow and can be harvested all throughout the long growing season. While most people envision boring solid green leaves when they think of “salad veggies”, they actually come in a variety of colours and shades. Kale is generally a green shade with blue or purple hazy undertones. And lettuce comes in every shade of green, from almost white, to dark forest green. Lots of lettuce also comes in red or purple shades. But perhaps the most fun and attractive element about lettuce and kale is the texture. From rough and wrinkly to spikey and picky to smooth and lush, you can add just about any texture to your garden you want by planting lettuce or kale.

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard Bright LightsLike lettuce and kale, Swiss chard is a leafy green cool-crop vegetable that can be planted right now. It’s an extremely healthy veggie that’s easy to grow. While the leaves always remain green, it’s the stalks of the plant that add colourful fun to the garden! The stalks have traditionally been red, with some variances like white or yellow, but today you can get a whole RAINBOW of stalk colours. This includes red, orange, yellow, purple, pink and white! Eating your GREENS just became a lot more colourful!

 

 

Radishes – early edibles

In my opinion, radishes are the most satisfying vegetable to grow because most Radish Red Meatvarieties of radishes germinate within 3-5 days of planting! Talk about immediate gratification! Along with that, radishes generally reach maturity within 3-4 weeks of planting! When most people picture radishes, they think of small, round, red root veggies, but radishes also come in white, black, red & white, green and gold. They also come in a variety of sizes, from cute, round egg shaped roots to long, narrow cylinders. Radishes are a quick, peppery, crispy and easy to grow veggie that can satisfy even the most impatient gardener!

 

Peas

Peas Sugar SnapsPeas are an awesome cool-crop vegetable that produce lots of sweet snappy veggies! It’s true that peas are not particularly colourful – we all know they are green- but the vining varieties provide lots of fun because they can grow up any support! Have a colourful fence or trellis? They can climb up that! Or what about making a pea teepee – or better yet, a pea fort!! (make a pea teepee and leave one of the spaces between poles open so kids can climb in underneath the growing peas!). Peas have a limited growing season, but the can produce a LOT of veggies during that time. Harvest often for a bigger crop. Once the hot weather arrives, think about replacing peas with another veggie (like beans!).

 

 

Beans

Beans of a different colour edibles

Beans

Beans are not really a cool-crop vegetable. Bean seeds can be sown outdoors after the last spring frost. There are bean varieties that grow on a bush, but like peas, it’s the vining varieties that are fun to support in creative ways! But unlike peas, beans come in more than just green! Why not try yellow beans or purple beans or a mix of all three colours? Easy to grow and fun to twine, beans are a great replacement for pea plants once they’ve completed producing and the warmer weather arrives!

Peppers

Peppers - hot or mild edibles

Peppers

There are so many types of peppers!! Sweet, hot, spicy, large, small, round, long. And so many colours – red, orange, yellow, green, purple, black! If you only planted peppers you could still have a rainbow in your garden! Because there are so many choices, it can sometimes it takes a lot of work to figure out what type of peppers will work for your garden. The good news is, whatever you choose, peppers are easy to grow in the garden and in containers. They don’t like the cold, so wait for the last frost to be over before you choose your plants.

Tomatoes

Black cherry colourful edibles

Black Krim Heirloom Tomato

There are also an overwhelming amount of choices when it comes to tomatoes! Red is certainly the standard, but they also come in orange, yellow, light and dark green, purple, pink, near black and more! Size and sweetness varies too. So if you’re having trouble deciding, do some research or talk to a garden centre attendant who can help you narrow down your choices based on your needs and likes. Tomatoes are not a fan of cool weather, so like peppers, you need to wait until after the frost is done to plant them outside in the garden or in containers.

 

Learn more about planting vegetables.

Five Ways With Bountiful Berries

Rubus - Blackberry 'Loch Ness'

While there’s a definite rustic glamour in a lush, productive backyard vegetable patch, the days of relegating edibles to the kitchen garden are over. Bringing berries—from the summertime trifecta of strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, to more unusual such as gooseberries, elderberries and grapes (yes, grapes are technically berries)—into the landscape, from tucking them into mixed beds and borders and against fences either solo or behind perennials to clambering up walls, or as full-on hedges, combines beauty and practicality.Selecting the right cultivar for the usage is key. Some shrubs make great foundation plantings, while others will sprawl and spread and are better as informal hedges. Decide what you’re going for, then as long as you have plenty of sun and can provide regular water, you can have an edible space. Here are five ways to integrate berry-making plants into your yard.

As a privacy-making, bird-loving, edible hedgerow

If you want a hedge to create a garden room, define property boundaries, or screen the neighbors, look no further than taller berry-producing shrubs such as blueberry, American cranberry, Red Lake currants, or brambles that put out naturally standing or erect, long canes such as many varieties of blackberry and raspberry. Just be sure to consider the ultimate height of the hedge you’re growing. While they can be trimmed, most edible hedges will look their best, and produce the most fruit, if allowed to grow to their natural height. Also, most berry-making plants are deciduous, so if privacy is critical, be sure to combine with evergreen shrubs. These are lovely:

currentscropped americancranberrycropped gooseberrycropped
Red Lake Currant American Cranberry Viburnum Pixwell Gooseberry

 

As an “I’m so elegant” espalier on a fence, wall, or trellis

Some varieties of raspberries and boysenberries put out long (often 5’ or longer) canes which are so pliable that they can be trained on a trellis against a wall in patterns or tied onto an existing fence. While they want to grow wild, grape vines can also be similarly trained. To create a clean, linear pattern, simply select the strongest canes or vines and prune away others as necessary. While you’ll be sacrificing fruit, you will have a French-garden inspired look that’s both unique and delicious. These will work:

golden raspberry cropped himrod grape cropped boysenberry cropped
Fall Gold Raspberries  Himrod Grape Thornless Boysenberry

 

As an unexpected groundcover

Low growing edibles strawberries and some lingonberries and blueberries can fill in spaces under trees and shrubs, grow along walkways, or be used in the front of flower beds. Edible ground covers are also great for small space gardens where maximizing the available growing area is essential. Unlike woody herbs (which also make excellent edible groundcovers) most edible fruiting plants cannot withstand foot traffic. Plant them where they’ll be protected. Here are few to consider:

x-default Strawberry plants already ripe to harvest lingonberry cropped

 

As a portable feast outside the kitchen door

Grabbing a handful of berries to toss into your morning cereal should be a right, not a privilege! Thanks to innovations over the last decade, there are now lots of choices for compact, low-to-medium height berry producing shrubs that are idea for containers which can be placed in sunny spots near the house. These produce a sizeable crop of full-sized berries, and many produce more than one crop in a season. One other benefit of growing in containers is that they’re easy to cover with netting if birds are an issue. If you have a very large container (24” or larger) they’re also fabulous mixed with perennials or shrubs such as compact roses. Try these:

san andreas strawberry cropped brazelberry raspberry shortcake cropped bountiful blue blueberry cropped

 

As a wild, tumbling, romantic bramble patch

If you have a fairly large space (such as an area at the back of the property where you’re not overly concerned with things being neat and tidy) and want the maximum amount of fruit, you want a bramble patch. Brambles are generally raspberry and blackberry plants and while they can be persistent, even bullies in the yard, they can be tamed with proper pruning (good info here). What makes it worth the effort is how much fruit you’ll get and that a well-tended patch can last a very long time. These will do the business:

Prime Jim Blackberry cropped indian summer raspberry black satin blackberry cropped

ARTICLE  COURTESY OF MONROVIA

Planting Vegetables

planting vegetables

Young vegetable plants

When planting vegetables, find an area, which will receive at least five to six hours of direct sunlight daily. Decide which vegetables and the amount of each you want to include in your garden. Take into consideration: the amount of space you have available (some vegetables need more growing room than others); your own requirements for canning, freezing or table use; local frost dates and climate conditions. For a longer harvest period, plant vegetables at staggered time intervals. Allocate part of your garden for small, rapidly-maturing vegetables (such as radishes, lettuce, spinach). Keep tall vine or pole varieties from overshadowing smaller plants.

The following plants should be started from seed: beans, beets, carrots, corn, peas and radishes. When growing plants from seed, follow the instructions on the seed pack.

Soil Preparation for planting vegetables

Spade soil deeply. Loosen up heavy clay by adding peat moss and manure. Add 1 kg of garden fertilizer per 10 square metres. Turn the soil over again and rake smoothly.

Vegetable No. of plants required family of four
Beets 24-30
Broccoli 6
Brussels sprouts 6
Cabbage: early, late 10-12
Cantaloupe 4
Cauliflower 6
Celery 6
Cucumber 2-4
Eggplant 2
Lettuce: head, leaf 10-12
Onions (Spanish) 25
Parsley 4
Peppers 4
Spinach 6
Squash 2-4
Tomatoes 4-6
Watermelon 3-6
*For successive harvesting, plant some of each variety.

Pre-Planting Care

If you cannot plant the same day of purchasing, water vegetables  thoroughly and keep them in the shade. Evenings and cloudy days are the best times to plant.

Planning Your Garden

First, make a list of all the vegetables your family enjoys (there’s no use growing a vegetable if it won’t get eaten). Then, put a number beside each variety indicating the number of plants required to feed you and your family. The table on the opposite page will help you as it indicates the number of plants required to feed a family of four.

How to Plant

Moisten soil before planting, allowing it to dry slightly until it’s workable. Generally, plant seeds about three times as deep as their diameter. Cover small seeds with finely sifted compost, soil or vermiculite. Plants not in individual containers should be gently separated to retain as much soil around the roots as possible.

Watering

Vegetables are thirsty! Water them thoroughly with a mild fertilizer to give them a good start. Thereafter, water whenever the soil begins to dry. Water early in the day by soaking the soil. Do not just sprinkle the foliage with water.

After-Planting Care

Cultivate out weeds as soon as they appear. For easier weed pulling, moisten soil an hour before cultivating. When removing weeds, do not disturb the roots of the plants. Your vegetables may have problems with insects or disease. If they do, bring a sample of the problem to your closest garden centre and let one of our experienced nurserymen identify the problem.

This article courtesy of Landscape Ontario.   www.landscapeontario.com

DRYING HERBS

With the arrival of our herbs in the garden centre, we thought we’d show you how to easily extend the life of your herbs by drying them for future use in the kitchen, in crafts or in displays.

When drying herbs, the first thHerb Plantering to ask is which herbs you want to choose? Almost all herbs can be dried, however, some herbs are easier to dry because they have a stronger leaf and can keep their colour and texture better. Herbs with harder leaves tend to be the easiest to dry. They tend not to shrivel up or turn brown. These include Bay, Rosemary, Thyme and Sage. Tender leaved herbs can be a bit more difficult to dry because they are more affected by moisture. Care has to be taken to make sure they are dried quickly so they do not turn moldy. Tender leaved herbs include Basil, Parsley, Mint and Tarragon.

If you are growing herbs indoors you can harvest your herbs at any time. If you are growing your herbs outdoors, it is best to wait until the morning dew has evaporated and the hot sun has not come out yet (early to mid-morning). For drying herbs, try to harvest just before the flowers open. Look for lots of buds. They are a telltale sign that your herbs are ready to be dried and generally show when the herb will best retain its shape and flavour.  There are always exceptions to this general rule. For example, if you’re drying lavender for a flower arrangement you definitely want to wait for the flowers to be open before harvesting.

Drying should begin immediately after harvesting your herbs. If you allow them to sit around they will be exposed to excess moisture and dust which can ruin the flavour, colour and appearance of your final product.

The first step inThyme drying herbs, especially if you intend to use them for cooking or baking, is to clean them. Rinse the herbs gently under cool water either in a salad spinner or colander. Another method is to simply let the herbs soak briefly in a bowl of cool water. Once washed, simply shake your herbs gently to remove excess water. Remove any bruised or soiled leaves.

There are a lot of different ways to dry herbs.  My preferred method is air drying them indoors. I find that this keeps the herbs more protected from the elements and helps them keep their shape, flavour and colour better intact than other methods (other methods include outdoor air drying, oven drying, microwave drying). Indoor air drying can be done on a hanging rack or a drying screen. Because of the limited space in my home, I prefer the drying rack method. Drying herbs on an indoor drying rack is particularly good for tender leaved herbs. I also find it is the easiest way to dry herbs.

Indoor Air Drying on a Rack

Step 1: Bundle the Herbs

Different herbs take different amounts of time to dry so I find it beneficial to keep different types of herbs separate. If you can avoid it, don’t mix and match. Tie a string or elastic around the base of the bundle with the flowers (or buds) facing down.

Step 2: This is an OPTIONAL step – Place Herb Bundles in Paper Bags

Placing each herb bundle in its own paper bag with a few holes in it. This speeds up drying time and catches any falling leaves or seeds. I choose not to do this step because I love the way the herbs are displayed in my home. It’s a beautiful addition to the décor.

Step 3: Hang Herbs on the Rack and Leave Them to Dry

There are numerous things that can be used for a drying rack. Ladders, ceiling beams, coat racks, clothes hangers and nails in a wall all make great drying racks. Make sure that your herbs are drying away from direct sunlight and moisture. Drying times vary from 5 days to a few weeks depending on the herb you’ve chosen.  The herb is dried when the leaves are crisp and there is no moisture felt.

Step 4: Enjoy Your Dried Herbs

Whatever you are using your dried herbs for, whether it’s cooking, making a craft, potpourri, or dried bouquet, enjoy your herbs and remember how easy drying your own can be!