Why is tea dehyrdating
When I recently dried elderberries, I used a combination of methods. I turned the oven on 150 degrees and left them in there for 20-30 minutes.They still were not dry enough, so I decided to spread them out and leave them overnight to dry.The ideal time to harvest is in the morning, before it gets warm, but after the dew dries.You want them all fresh and perky and at their peak. However, I believe it’s better to harvest when you can than not at all, so I harvest at all times of day.
You’ll notice that when they’re not quite dry they’ll *look* dry but when you touch them they are a bit cool compared to a truly dry flower. Which brings me to the next item: If you plucked all the petals off the heads when you first brought them indoors, those petals would dry very fast. It would be like playing a game of “He loves me, He loves me not” that lasted for hours.
To harvest, I either pinch off the heads or cut off the heads with scissors. That stem can be trimmed back to the first set of leaves, for the sake of aesthetics. (ETA: A commenter recommends that you always cut the stem back to the first set of leaves, so the stem does not become a conduit for rot.
Makes sense.) They must be completely and absolutely dry before they go into storage. A couple of years ago I was impatient and put a few chamomile buds which must have been not-quite-dry in to a jar with the rest of my (painstaking) chamomile harvest. They should be fragile, crispy and very dry, like crepe paper.
Start harvesting your Calendula as soon as the first flush of flowers is in full bloom. The more you harvest, the more flowers each plant will put out.
After the first cutting, you can probably return to harvest more every 3 days or so.