Tip of the Week

Friday, July 6, 2012

Working in the Garden and Harvesting Lavender

All my hard work has slowly rewarded me with fresh vegetables and fruit from my garden.  A have a small bowl of sweetheart cherry tomatoes, 1 yellow straight-neck squash and a few bell peppers.  The melons have taken over the trellis and are in full bloom.  A few little melons, as pictured below are starting to grow, I can't wait to harvest fresh melons later in the summer.  My zucchini and straight-neck squash have been growing slow this year compared to last year.  I harvested several zucchini's last year before my tomatoes were even blooming, but that's not the case this year.  Hopefully I will have a nice crop to cook with later in the summer though.

There are few additions to my garden this week:  I planted a mix of sunflower seeds that I recently was given and am working on re-planting my lettuces.  The other project that has taken several days of work was harvesting my French and English lavender.  Both were basically done blooming, so I cut off all the blooms then did a bit of trimming on the plant.  It will grow back larger than it was before I trimmed it, so don't be afraid of some trimming, just don't go crazy and kill it.  After cutting the blooms, it is necessary to bundle them in about handful sizes and tie with string or vegetable twisty-ties.  Hang each bundle up in a dark, dry (can be cool) place for a few days.  Once the lavender is dried, you can use the lavender as it is or strip the blooms off and use in crafts.  French and English lavender work well because they have the lovely lavender smell, most Spanish lavenders do not.  Do not use lavender that has been sprayed with any chemicals or pesticides for culinary purposes.


Melon vines

First Eggplant

Straight-neck squash

Early girl tomatoes

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