Indigenous to the countries in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and India, lavender is one of the most prominent herbs in the world, recognized for their aromatic and therapeutic herbs. How is lavender harvested? It takes detail and great care to cultivate this beautiful plant.
Lavender is utilized in cosmetics, is a great cleaning agent, a great choice in aromatherapy, and an ingredient in beauty consumer products. For instance, it is extracted as lavender water, and this can be traced back as far as the Medieval Ages, after our ancestors have had the herb for disinfecting lye and for washing.
Nowadays, lavender is a recommended herb for relaxing, healing, cleansing, and purifying. Lavender extraction is easy, wherein you can simply combine fresh lavender with warm water. Place the lavender buds in the water to cover, and allow it to brew shortly. Then, drain the mixture and store the extract to the bottle. Refrigerate to keep the extract fresh.
Harvesting Lavender: The Process
Strong in aroma and bushy in its characteristics, lavender is a perennial plant proliferated in the Mediterranean. When you say perennial plants, these are plants that grow more than two years. In warmer areas, the foliage of these plants in shades and colors of green to gray will stay in this look throughout the year.
How is lavender harvested? Known for the aromatic properties, medicinal benefits, and beauty, lavender is a valued botanical element around the world. It is also known to attract pollinators to visit the garden, and feast on the ecosystem between them and the lavender plant.
In this segment, we will be categorizing the discussion into three: the right time to plant lavender, how to choose and prepare the site to plant, caring for the lavender, and harvesting tips.
Planting lavender: When to cultivate it
- The best season to plant the lavender is during the spring, and this is a time when the soil is just warming up.
- Should you want to plant it in the fall, it is recommended to choose larger plants over smaller ones to make sure it can thrive during the winter seasons.
How to select and prepare the planting site
- Lavender can be cultivated in almost every type of soil, making it a common sight in various gardens.
- For homeowners who use clay or compacted oil, you can add organic matter to enhance drainage.
- Take note that you have to keep this away from moist areas to avoid root rotting.
- You may arrange lavender about two to three feet apart, with plants reaching between one to three feet high.
Taking care of lavender
- Part of harvesting lavender is to be able to care for the plant. First, you may add mulching to keep weed presence to their minimum. The mulch must be kept away from the plant’s crown. This also prevents root rotting and excessive moisture.
- Water the plant around once or twice a week after planting until there is enough irrigation and moisture. More mature parts of the garden may be watered every two to three weeks until the buds form, then once to twice in a given week until harvesting the plants and flowers.
- In colder areas, plants may require more winter protection. Make sure to have these plants covered with the evergreen mulch of the season, straws, and boughs. They will block colder temperatures and winds.
- Growing lavender in a pot will do the plant best. While these are indoors, you may place the pot in a window facing the south with as much light. Water these sparingly since the plant can stay dormant during these times.
- When you see established parts of the plant, usually in the spring season, prune these, and as the green leaves begin to emerge from the plant’s base, remove an estimated one-third from the upper part.
The harvesting of lavender
- Begin harvesting the stems when about half of the flower buds have already opened.
- It is recommended to harvest during the hours of the morning, a time when the oil is very concentrated.
- Take note to cut the stems in the desired length, and gather them into bundles while securing these with rubber bands.
- You may also dry the lavender bundles in cool, darker areas, and keep them in desirable air circulation.
- Then, you may use the lavender to create lavender sachets, which you learn more about a little later into the piece
Does Lavender Grow Back After Harvesting?
These herbs do not thrive throughout the winter, and they are revived from the ground as the spring starts. This perennial herb is considered wood so it continues to grow every year. However, during the winter, the stems will turn upright to prepare for the spring season. Proper care, mulching and pruning will allow the lavender to survive in your garden for the upcoming years.
It is therefore important that you harvest lavender early in the morning, the time when you can have the oil concentrated early in the day when half of their buds are blossomed. With the best and sharpest pruning shears, you can be able to cut the steps so you can form bundles up to 100 stems, securing these with rubber bands and string.
You may let the lavender hang upside down in a cool, dark area with proper air circulation until they turn dry. You may also have them inside vases to scent air and create your very own potpourri. Lavender buds make great sauces and marinades, and blend well with vegetables and meats so the meals at home are at their healthiest. They also enhance the flavor of grilled dishes as you toss stems on the grilling pan, bringing the scent moving in the air.
How Do You Dry Lavender For Sachets?
Drying lavender is one of the best parts of cultivating and taking good care of the plants. To begin, make sure that you are able to bundle lavender stems together in such a way that the flower heads are within a line.
You may have two rubber bands for each lavender bundle to be dried, one on the flower bed’s lower part and the other beneath the stems. You may also hang bundles in an upside down direction toward the ground, and within a dark and warm spot.
Take notice that you must protect the lavender to be dried, or lavender in process, to retain their colors and have a sheet underneath the bundles to catch the blossoms and buds that may fall apart. You should be drying the lavender in these bundles for around seven to 10 days, depending on how humid the temperature is.
You may also arrange loose stems to dry the lavender in your basket, or on your screen. Keep these in a single layer and if possible, in drier climates. Remember that gardeners will tend to place loose plant stems on tablecloths and sheets, your driveway or deck, and cover blooms with more sheets to keep out the unwanted elements or debris.
This process typically lasts for about a week to 10 days to produce dried lavender, depending on the humidity. Once these flowers have bloomed right toward the tips, and you will need to go on harvesting, snip these stems to dry. Once the flowers have dried as well, you may begin harvesting the buds ready to be transferred to the sachets.
Or, you may also store dried buds to add the sweet flavor to kitchen recipes. Similar to other herbs, dried buds are considered more potent than it being fresh. For requirements on fresh lavender, think about what will be your alternative to these buds and blooms.
What Part Of Lavender Is Used?
To better understand how is lavender harvested in your backyard, it’s important to also learn more about the parts of this plant. Here are the uses and properties of lavender.
Touted to be perennials, lavenders and their roots will survive beneath the oil throughout the winter season, even amid the freezing temperature. Since they have roots shallow enough to grow in soil of the sandy or rocky texture and with good drainage, it is easy to take care of these plants so as not to kill the lavender.
A sought-after part in the lavender is the floral. Each stalk of the lavender that’s flowering can develop a single flower head known as the inflorescence. A lavender’s flower head has several small flowers. Since these plants are known to bloom during the summer in colors of purple, white, and blue, you can always utilize the flowers to dry and extract the scent.
Distilling the aroma will get you a lavender extract to turn your linen into fragrant fabrics, or as aromatic elements at home. At the end of the season, you can develop the seeds on the florals’ head.
Leaves And Stalks
Next up come the leaves and the stalks. With your lavender, new stalks can grow until three feet tall, and are characterized to be square and slender. Other plants are usually sporting a round color.
New growing stalks and leaves are green and quite flexible during the first year. Right as the lavender plant ages, you can see how the older stalks turn thick and become woody, transforming from its square shape to round shapes.
Narrower 2.5-inch leaves in length will turn from grey to silver green, and tend to be very aromatic. These plants can also grow in bundles up to three feet wide. In milder climates, they tend to be evergreen, but in climates accentuated with frosting, they may die back to the soil and then develop once more as the spring starts.
Magical Properties Of Lavender
Each of these lavender parts have their own uses. For instance, the flower and the lavender oil are used for purposes of healing. The magical properties and uses are:
- Aromatherapy. This is the feature and the most highlighted magical property of lavender. The oil fragrances coming from the plants may promote wellness for your holistic health and calmness. It also alleviates stress, anxiety, and even various ranges of pain.
- May treat cancer and dementia. These two health conditions loom over various individuals today. Did you know that lavender can work to best treat them? The plant can help manage the side effects of cancer, and may also help those diagnosed with dementia.
- Enhances hair health. Your hair is your crowning glory. With lavender, you may prevent hair fall, and get treated for a hair condition known as alopecia, affecting many patients worldwide.
- Improves your sleep. Lavender may treat people suffering from insomnia and several more sleeping disorders. You can start to stuff your pillows with lavender to help you fall asleep, as you tuck yourself to bed for a good night’s sleep.
How Often Can You Harvest Lavender?
How is lavender harvested depends on the season. Most gardeners can be able to harvest lavender and prune these simultaneously. Removing the stems of the lavender from the bush can promote growth right at the roots of the plant. This will maintain the cleanliness and the bundle of your lavender florals.
Cooking experts will use the dried stem bundles and the buds in the kitchen. To produce this, please cut the lavender when only a few of the buds within its stem have blossomed. This strategy will let you enjoy the stems in the vibrancy of hues.
Be sure to harvest in the seasons of spring and early in the summer. The strategy will help the plant have more time to produce more of the flowers ready for the second cutting. Harvest the best produce in the morning, just after the dew has dried, but before the sun’s heat scoops out the essential oils.
How Long Will The Lavender Plant Live?
15 years, this is how long a lavender can live. It has been known to survive a life span of up to 15 years for gardens at home. This may even increase depending on the tips followed when growing the plant. These include preparing the soil, changing up the soil, pruning, drainage, protecting it from the winter, and the right way of harvesting.
Life In The Greenhouse: Krostrade.com
Growing your lavender in the greenhouse, the building should be able to replicate the hot, humid, and drier climate where lavender is acclimatized. Born and cultivated in the Mediterranean, the plant cover a space where it receives right hours of daily sunlight, provided with dry and acidic soil, and pot lifted to the tips of the root for better drainage.
How is lavender harvested in the greenhouse? Very simple and easy. With Krostrade, you can have the best greenhouses for growing these botanicals. Keep on reading the blog for more insights about what the company offers, the latest deals, and official information.