Thursday, June 16, 2016

When To Harvest Your Lavender!

Last week or maybe it was earlier this week my herbal friend, Kathleen Gips was talking about harvesting lavender in her Ohio garden.  Brilliant herbal minds think alike.  I was harvesting some of my lavender as well.  Some of her friends were asking when to start.  So I thought I would give you some photos of my 'Hidcote' lavender that is ready to go or not.

This One is OK, But Could Use A Couple of More Days!
This One is Better Than the First One, A Bit More Open!
See Those Brown Calyxes at the Bottom! Perfect!
Flowers Are Open!  Leave for the Bees!
These photos are all (Lavendula angustifolia 'Hidcote').  These harvesting instructions would work for any lavender that is an angustifolia type.  Most angustifolia types start to bloom in my area in early June.  Although this year, I think they were just a bit earlier and started in late May.  I remember when I first started my herbal journey and I was just learning, I cut my lavender when the buds were fully closed.  The stems were fragrant, but I did not get any of the purple buds which is what you want if you are going to use lavender for teas, cooking, potpourris, etc.  The last photo with the flowers open does not dry well.  The flowers collapse and turn black or brown.  What makes it more difficult to judge is the weather, if it is too rainy, too cool, you will have to wait, and if you wait too long, the flowers will open, but the benefit is to the bees.  So I suppose the morale to this story is be patient, but watch the weather and be ready to make sure you get the most out of your lavender harvest!

We are having a soggy day today.  Have been very busy trying to get beds weeded and I may have to just dig some beds up and start again!  Oh, wait that means more herbal retail experiences for me!  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be!  Talk to you again soon.


Anonymous said...

I never knew that...This was most helpful. Thank you!

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Always here to answer your herbal questions, Anonymous! Thanks for stopping by!