Drying Lavender

Drying lavender will not only remind you of summer, it will give an abundance of medicinal, culinary and craft uses.

 

The best time to harvest lavender for craft sachets and bags for your cupboards, wardrobes or as a bug repellent, is when 75% of the flowers are open on the blooms. Any lavender variety is good to use, as each variety has its own aromatic scent. We recommend the variety of Grosso, as it has a strong aromatic scent which lasts for years, the stems are long and have just a few leaves.  

 

Using buds for cooking, harvest the blooms when just a few of the flowers have opened, these buds are sweeter than those harvested later with more flowers open. Choosing a True Lavender to grow in your garden for use as a herb, will give a sweeter and spicier flavour to food.

 

When you harvest each blossom with its stem, be sure to leave at least 2 inches of green growth on the plant. Cutting down to the woody portion of the stem is too extreme.

  • Cut bunches with a sickle. Be careful not to cut into any woody parts of the plant.Strip off all the leaves, leaving just the stem and blossom. Removing the leaves gives  better aeration for drying.
  • Bunch the stems together and tie with string or ribbon about three quarters of the way,  toward the bottom of the stems. As a guide approximately 150 stems to each bunch, or as much as you can comfortably hold in your hand.
  • In a dark, airy, dry and cool place, hang the bunches from the string or ribbon, so that the blooms are hanging down. Keep each bunch apart from another, this will allow for good aeration and your blooms will not get squashed. The darkness and coolness, helps the Lavender blooms to retain their colour and shape and a dry place will stop any fungus or mould from growing on the stems or blooms. Placing a large brown paper bag over the blooms, helps to catch any of the buds that may fall during the drying process.

Drying time is usually seven days, or until their is no moisture in the stems, especially the centre ones. A good sign is the stems will have changed in colour, to very dark green or brown and brittle.

 

A simple and easy way to capture these precious aromatic buds, is to place the bundle in a pillow case, holding the stems with the pillow case wrapped around them, bash the blossom end of the dried plants on a solid surface a few times. Most of the buds will be knocked off and if any still remain on the stems, rub them inside the pillow case.

Opening Times

From June through to September, weekends only 10 am - 4pm.

We are happy for you to visit on weekdays or evenings by appointment only.

Tel: 01473 655 634

 

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