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Lavender

Lavender: How to harvest?

If you have a good crop of lavender in your garden and haven’t considered harvesting lavender before, you really should! For centuries, lavender has been used for all sorts of purposes. All lavender is fragrant and fantastic for medicinal, cosmetic, and culinary uses. Lavandula angustifolia, in its many varieties, are low maintenance and drought tolerant plants and now is the time to start harvesting your lavender if you haven’t already! If you want to encourage growth for next year, you need to harvest stems from this year’s plants. By the third and fourth year, your lavender plant will fully mature and bring you the potential of hundreds of blooms. A plant, properly cared for, will live about 10 years.

When?

The best time for your lavender harvest is on a dry morning when the plant is dry and the sun is less intense. This preserves more of the essential oil in the blossoms.

You’ll Need:

Rubber bands

Scissors

A large flat sheet

Paperclip or wire plant tie

A hanger

Step one: Cut a bundle of lavender from your plant, but try and ensure that you leave a few inches of green growth on the plant and remember that you don’t have to be too gentle with it! Just grab a bit and cut, moving along the plant. Top tip: don’t cut down to the woody portion of the stem as this will stunt the growth for next year.

Step two: As soon as you have enough lavender for a decent bunch, wrap a rubber band around the bottom of the bundle and cut off the unnecessary stems making it look attractive.

Step three: Open a small paperclip and use it as a hook to hang the lavender bundle on the hanger. Place them upside down in a dry, dark place. The darkness will help the lavender retain its colour, and drying it upside down helps lavender retain its blossom shape.

Step four: Allow the lavender to dry for at least a week ensuring that all moisture has been removed.

Step five: Decide how to use your lavender harvest from creating relaxing and therapeutic bath salts and essential lavender oil to antiseptic spray.  A useful website to show you make the most of your new harvest, please visit: Everything Lavender