Organic Lavender: Powerful Benefits to Planting, Harvesting, and Using
If you have ever used lavender, you know the powerful impact that it can have. The strong fragrance alone seems to relax and soothe on the spot. Knowing how to plant, grow, and harvest your lavender plant will make this plant a must have in your home garden.
Lavender has so many different uses from oils, vinegars, teas, drinks, culinary purposes, and even decorative wreaths. Deciding how you want to use your lavender will help you decide which plant to grow in your garden.
Sarah Berringer Bader, author of The Lavender Lover’s Handbook, stated in her book, “One day I was out watering a large lavender bush in my yard, and the gentle fragrance filled my nostrils and put me into a trance.”
This herb, has a powerful effect and can be grown right in your own backyard.
Growing Organic Lavender
Lavender is a great plant to add to just about any garden. If you are willing to be patient with this amazing plant, you will reap the benefits. The plant is not too hard to grow. It does not need too much care to thrive.
“When Lavender is placed in the right spot – where it has full sun, good drainage, and plenty of room to grow – it will thrive with very little care, even though the summer months.” ~ Sarah Berringer Bader.
It is wet conditions and humidity that will kill a lavender plant, not the cold. So, this plants are great for most climates.
After flowering, you should trim your lavender plant each year. It should be around the time of early fall unless you live in cold and wet climates and when you should trim plants in the spring.
Lavender comes in a variety of colors from blues and purples to whites and pinks. There are dwarf lavenders, medium size lavenders, and lavenders that grow quite large. Some can get rather large and can crowd other plants, so picking the right kind for your garden is important.
Can you imagine being able to go into your harden and harvest a bunch of fresh lavender and place it directly into a vase? Change the water often when you are placing your lavender into vase to help keep the water fresh.
When you harvest your lavender is going to depend on what you plan to do with your plant.
Don’t wait too long to harvest the flowers as it can stress out your plant. If you are planning to use your lavender plant for culinary purposes or for crafting, harvest the entire plant once a few flowers have begun to emerge from the buds. Doing it this way will help keep the lavender buds tight together on the stem so that you can use it at a later time. If you are noticing that your lavender is shedding, it might because too many flowers were allowed to open before harvesting.
Using a gardening tool to help harvest your lavender will be helpful. The best possible tool to use is a curved, serrated blade with a handle, but this isn’t necessary. The great aspect of lavender is that it is tough and so you can go ahead a grab a bunch in your hand and cut large chunks.
If you are planning to use it for other purposes, you might want to dry it out for later use.
When drying lavender you will want to cut a bunch. Sarah Berringer Bader suggests that you get around one hundred stems and bundle with a rubber band toward the bottom of the bunch and then pull apart a paper clip and thread it through the end of the rubber band and hang it around your home.
You want to make sure you are hanging your lavender in a warm, dark, dry room with enough circulation. Your lavender will be dry within a few weeks.
Your dried lavender bunch will keep its amazing fragrance for about a year. You can squeeze the lavender flowers to have continued release of the powerful fragrance.
Uses and Benefits of Lavender
The uses for lavender are endless. The flowers of a lavender plant can be used in cooking. You can add the flowers to flavor sugar for making cookies and cakes. Just adding a few flowers to a baked lamb can add flavor.
Lavender is often used as an essential oil and can help treat burns, cuts, and stings. The oil can also be add to a bath or location to help calm and relax both children and adults. It has been known that running the oil into the temples of your head can help ease a headache.
Lavender has been used to treat anxiety, depression, and other aliments for centuries. While there is still a lot of research that needs to be done about lavender, there is evidence that lavender does help reduce anxiety. According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Some evidence suggests that oral lavender or aromatherapy with lavender can reduce anxiety; however, evidence is preliminary and limited. Oral lavender can cause constipation and headache. It also can increase appetite and the sedative effect of other medications and supplements and can cause low blood pressure.”
While the benefits are noteworthy, it’s important that you should always seek medical advice when taking any herbal supplement.
Organic Mosquito Repellent
Looking for a good organic natural mosquito repellent? Lavender might just do the trick. It makes for a good mosquito, gnat, and fly repellent just by sprinkling a few drops of your bed sheets.
Lavender is an amazing and easy herb to grow in your home garden and the amount of uses for this powerful herb will be with your time and energy. From using this herb for cooking and medicinal purposes to an organic natural mosquito repellant, this is one plant that you will want to include in your home garden.
We would love to hear your thoughts, too. Have you grown lavender in your garden? What is your favorite way to use this amazing herb?