- As you harvest herb leaves, pinch back the plants to shape them and promote bushier growth.
- As the number of leaves available for harvest increases, take some to dry for winter use. Either tie bundles together and hang them upside down in a warm, well-ventilated spot out of direct sun, or spread leaves out on screens stapled onto frames that are stacked to allow airflow. If you are drying only a few leaves, simply clean them and leave them loose on a paper towel.
- Make herbal vinegars. Modify the proportions depending on how strong a flavor you want, but the basic ratio is one cup of fresh herb per quart of vinegar (white, cider, or red wine vinegar is fine). Cover the herb with vinegar in a glass container, seal, and store for two to four weeks until the vinegar is imbued with the herbal flavor.
- Water your garden when necessary. A slow, deep watering is more effective than frequent sprinkles. Slow irrigation allows water to get down to the roots, encouraging them to grow deeper, making the plant more drought tolerant.
- Remove developing flower heads from plants such as basil, chervil, costmary, lemon balm, lemon verbena, oregano, rosemary, and tarragon. The leaves are more flavorful if the flowers aren't allowed to develop. Caraway, a biennial, will live an extra season if its flowers are removed.
- Start drying herbs for cooking, indoor arrangements, or potpourris.
Continued on page 3: Fall