The time to harvest your lavender flowers is on a dry sunny day, preferably in the morning before the flowers are fully open and when their color has been bright and vivid. Harvesting lavender is one of the pleasures of lavender care and is a rather simple process.
Begin by cutting the stalk of the flower about 4-5 inches below the head of the flower. Prepare the stalks by gathering up 12 to14 in a bunch. Then tie them together towards the end of the stalk with an elastic band, about 1-2 inches from the end. Be sure to use only rubber bands, as they will hold the stalks in place and will contract in size as the stalks loose their thickness during the drying.
Hang the stalk bunches, flower side down, in a dry place out of the direct sunlight. The drying time will take up to three weeks so be sure your drying place is out of the weather and can no t be rained on. Insert a long piece of twine through the rubber band and loop it, tie the ends together and you have a nice hook to hang the stalk.
As the drying of lavender continues some of the flower petals may drop off of the stalks, you can place a cloth under the stalks to collect these lavender flowers.
Once dry you can remove the dried lavender flower by stripping the stalk through your fingers allowing the petals to drop on a large clean cloth such as a sheet. (An old clean sheet cut into manageable sizes works well). Then gather up the dried lavender flowers and pour them into a glass container with a lid. Store the dried flowers in a cool dark place until ready to use.
The lavender stalks can also be used for various projects. My favorite is to store them for later use in the fireplace on chilly nights or to throw them into a fire pit when were all sitting around drinking a glass of wine after a day working in the garden.
Drying lavender is really very simple and can be easy and enjoyable to do. Two to three lavender plants should yield enough for simple home needs, but I like to have several around not only because they are gorgeously fragrant, but their flowers and stems can be used for many projects around the home and to give away as gifts.
Your friendly avid lavender enthusiast.