lavender/catnip harvesting

inkofthebroken(cntrl Tx - 8)May 29, 2004

I've just recently started working with herbs grown from my garden. Previously, I've only worked with store bought herbs, and after a rather bad batch, decided to grow my own. This is all well and good, and everything is flourishing, until I ran into a slight problem. I have no background in harvesting and handling fresh herbs. What do I cut? How should I store them? Specifically lavender and catnip. If you have any information pertaining to saving seeds and re-seeding from the plants themselves, that would be most welcome, too. I appreciate any information you have to give to me! Thank you!

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Catnip: Leaves and flowering tops should be harvested when young, in late summer when the plant is flowering, before the flowers turn brown. Dry for future use.

Lavender: For drying, pick flowers just as they open, along with some of the foliage, and hang in bunches upside down in a dark, airy room. Do not use excessive or prolonged heat if drying them artificially, as the oil is very volatile. Pick the leaves anytime for fresh use, or before flowering if drying. Small, woody black or brown oval seeds are enclosed in the tightly closed calyx.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2004 at 6:35PM
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raptorrunner(Z4/5 NE Nebr.)

the catnip will reseed itself freely if you let some of the flowering tops go when you harvest leaves. it transplants easily when its young (less than about 6 inches tall and before flowering), so you can put it where you want it when you find the new plants.

in my area, there is enough catnip that I never want for it, but you just have to see about your area.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2004 at 11:06AM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

This was on last page and thought i'd bump it up as i'm harvesting my catnip now for tea and to make xmas stuffed bags for my cat lovers. I love the tea and it is calming to me though i never take any kind of calming tea more than a couple of weeks straight then i change to lemon balm(my own)even buy some of the Celestial teas but i want to grow more simple herbs for tea. I change around because i think there can be too much of a good thing and they all do basically the same thing in a little different way.

My lavender is also starting to bloom and was'nt sure the best time to harvest it. I've heard there were some medical uses for it but have no idea what it is as i use it for baths and its fragrance.
Happy harvesting,

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 5:28AM
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