When to harvest lavender, is a question that you may be asking this question, when you are likely interested in growing lavender or have access to a lavender field. To answer the question, the optimal time for lavender to be harvested is during its peak blooming season, which may vary depending on the specific variety of lavender.
In this article, we will answer your question and provide you with useful information on when to grow lavender and harvest it.
- What Is the Suited Time of Year to Harvest Lavender?
- What Are Challenges to Avoid When Harvesting Lavender?
- How Can You Use the Harvested Lavender?
What Is the Suited Time of Year to Harvest Lavender?
The suited time of year to harvest lavender is from mid to late summer, which is the peak blooming season, when the flowers are just starting to open. This is the time when they are ready for harvest and their smell is dense enough.
The essential oils in the lavender blooms are at their highest concentration, making it the ideal time to harvest. Moreover, it must be noted that the time may vary depending on the different lavender varieties and your location. Therefore, it is important to have sufficient knowledge of the ideal harvesting time for your specific lavender variety and location.
– Harvest Yield
This aromatic herb can be harvested multiple times in a season as the yield is dense. Still, the frequency and amount of harvests may vary depending on the lavender seeds, the specific variety, climate, and growing conditions. Typically, the first harvest of lavender occurs in mid to late summer when the flowers are at their peak.
After the initial harvest, the plant may produce new growth and flower spikes, which can be harvested later in the season. Moreover,
Lavender can be harvested in the fall, but the optimal time is during its peak blooming season, which occurs in mid to late summer. If you missed the peak season, you could still harvest in the fall, but the blooms may not be as abundant or fragrant.
Moreover, it is essential to note that the timing of the fall harvest may also depend on your location and climate, as some areas may experience colder temperatures and frost earlier in the season, which can damage the lavender plant.
What Are Challenges to Avoid When Harvesting Lavender?
The challenges to avoid when harvesting lavender are when you pick them in the rain or when one harvests them past their peak period. And lastly, when the harvesting process is done in an aggressive matter, it fluctuates the quantity.
– Picking Them in The Rain
Harvesting lavender in the rain is impossible as wet plants can be more susceptible to damage and disease, which is why you must avoid it. When lavender plants are wet, they are more prone to mold or bacterial growth, which can harm the plant and reduce the quality of the yield.
Additionally, harvesting lavender when it is wet can cause the essential lavender oils in the flowers to be diluted, which can impact the fragrance and quality of the harvest. Moreover, waiting for a dry day to harvest lavender is best to ensure the best possible yield. If it is impossible to wait for a dry day, waiting until the rain has stopped and the plant has had a chance to dry before harvesting is a better option to consider.
– Harvesting Too Late
Harvesting after the mid to late summer period is considered “too late” as the optimal time to harvest lavender is during its peak blooming season, which typically occurs in mid to late summer, depending on your location and climate.
If you miss the peak lavender harvest season, it is still possible to harvest it later, but the blooms may not be as plentiful or fragrant as they would be during the peak season.
Moreover, it is important to note that harvesting it too late in the season, when the flowers have started to wither or brown, can produce a lower quality yield with less fragrance and flavor. Waiting too long to harvest can prevent the plant from becoming woody and less productive in future seasons.
– Picking Up Aggressively
Notably, frequent or aggressive harvesting can cause stress to the plant and reduce its overall yield and quality. It is advised to keep the plant rest and regrow between harvests and to prevent cutting into the woody bit of the plant, as this can cause damage and reduce future growth.
How Can You Use the Harvested Lavender?
You can use the harvested lavender placing them to prepare essential oils, or in sachets, or some use it for culinary purposes or commercial uses and selling them. You can even use them for drying purposes and placing them to release their aroma.
Depending on your needs and preferences, dry the flowers and use them for crafts, sachets, potpourri, or culinary purposes. To dry lavender, tie the stems in appropriate-sized bundles and hang them upside down in a warm, dry place with good air circulation.
– Preparing Essential Oils
A number of people would like to use this plant to extract the essential oil from the flowers using a steam distillation method. This oil can be used in aromatherapy, massage, or as a natural fragrance for soaps, candles, and other products.
Harvesting lavender takes around 15 minutes to an hour to several hours of the day for this reason to be picking them up. In addition to this, it also is a cause that would depend on the plant’s size and the number of flowers you are collecting; when you are doing this process and wondering, how long does lavender harvesting take.
To harvest lavender for sachets, cut the stems about one inch above the foliage, leaving some green growth on the plant to allow for future growth and blooming. Bundle the lavender stems, securing them with a rubber band, and hang the bundles upside down in a dry, well-ventilated area, if you are wondering how to harvest lavender for Sachets.
Furthermore, allow the lavender to dry completely, which can take many days to a week, depending on the humidity and temperature in your area. Once the flowers are crispy and the stems snap when bent, you can remove the dried flowers from the stems by carefully rubbing them between your fingers or using a fork. Discard any leaves or debris that may have fallen into the flowers.
Lastly, fill sachet or muslin bags with the dried flowers and tie the bags closed with a ribbon or string. You can mix and add other herbs or spices, such as rosemary or cinnamon, to the sachets for a customized scent. This simple process will provide you with a lovely and fragrant sachet that can be used in your home or given to be placed in places to give out aroma.
To harvest lavender for cooking, wait until the fresh lavenders have fully bloomed and are dry, preferably on a sunny day when the flowers are freshest when it comes to the question, how to harvest lavender for cooking. To prune lavender, cut the stems about one inch above the foliage, leaving some green growth on the plant to allow for future growth.
Choose a time to harvest lavender flowers when the bees are less active, as you don’t want to disturb them or risk getting stung. Moreover, you next need to bundle the lavender stems together, secure them with a rubber band or string, and gently shake them to remove any insects or debris.
Rinse the flowers under cool running water to remove debris or insects. Dab them dry with a clean towel or paper towel, and remove the flowers from the stems using your fingers or a fork. However, make sure that you would discard any leaves or stems.
Lastly, store the dried flowers in an airtight container in a cool, dry place until ready to use. When using flowers in cooking, it’s important to use them meagerly as they can be quite strong. They pair well with sweet and savory dishes, such as desserts, tea, and roasted meats. Be sure to use culinary-grade flowers that are free of pesticides or chemicals for the best flavor and safety.
– Commercial Use
To harvest lavender commercially, you must carefully plan your production to ensure the highest quality product. The first step is choosing the right lavender variety for your region and growing conditions. Once you successfully plant lavenders in rows or blocks, keep the plants well-watered and fertilized and prune them to promote bushier growth.
After knowing how to harvest lavender commercially, you should also know that when it comes time to harvest, wait until the flowers have fully bloomed and are dry. Choose a time to harvest when the weather is dry and sunny to minimize moisture content.
To harvest the flowers, use a mechanical harvester to cut the lavender stems at the optimal height, and immediately transport them to a processing facility. You should sort the flowers by size and quality and remove any debris or damaged flowers.
Clean and dry the flowers using specialized equipment, such as a food dehydrator or air-drying racks, before packing them in attractive, airtight containers that protect them from moisture and light.
Once your lavender is ready for market, you can go ahead and sell it to wholesale buyers, retailers, and consumers through various channels, such as farmer’s markets, online stores, and distributors. While commercial lavender farming requires significant time, money, and resources, careful planning and execution can make it a profitable and rewarding enterprise.
To dry lavender, harvest the stems in the morning when the dew has evaporated. Cut the stems at the base of the plant, leaving a few inches. Afterward, bundle the lavender stems together in small bunches, usually with 20 to 30 stems per bundle, and secure them with a rubber band or string; this will be a strong foundation for how to dry lavender.
It’s essential to handle the bundles gently to avoid damaging the flowers. Furthermore, hang the lavender bundles upside down in a warm, dry, and well-ventilated area, such as a closet or attic. Ensure to hang them away from direct sunlight, which can cause the flowers to fade.
Allow the dried lavender bundles to dry completely, which typically takes one to two weeks. The flowers should be dry and crumbly to the touch. Once the lavender is dry, remove the flowers from the stems by gently rubbing the stems between your fingers over a large bowl or container.
Lastly, as the flowers will easily fall off the stems, store dried lavender flowers in tight jars or containers, such as glass jars or plastic bags, away from direct sunlight and moisture. It is essential to remember that taking the time to harvest it properly will result in a higher quality yield with better fragrance, lavender buds, and flavor, so it is worth investing the time and effort to get it right.
By following the guidelines mentioned in this article, you can harvest your lavender, whether it’s an English lavender or a Spanish lavender, at the right time and whether you’re doing it for cooking, crafting, or commercial purposes. Here’s a summary of what you read:
- Knowing when to harvest lavender is essential to ensure the plant’s highest quality and yield.
- Generally, it is best to ensure you cut lavender stems cleanly and evenly without damaging the plant or wasting any harvests.
- The ideal time to harvest lavender is early morning when the dew has dried, but before the sun gets too hot.
- Lavender can be harvested multiple times in a season, but waiting until the plant has had time to recover between harvests is essential.
- Lavender can be dried and used for various purposes, including making sachets, potpourri, and scented candles or adding flavor to culinary dishes.
We hope this guide has helped you better understand when to harvest lavender.
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