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Lavender, Simcoe Research Station
Lavender, Simcoe Research Station
June 10, 2024

Lavender is beginning to bloom at the Simcoe Research Station, the earliest bloom ever at this site by about seven to 10 days.


Part of that is due to the warm spring and part of that is probably due to delayed removal of the row covers and excess warming in March writes Sean Westerveld in his ONspecialtycrops blog. The earliest blooming cultivars are Super Blue, Big Time Blue, Twickel Purple, Blue Rider and French Fields.


For those running agritourism operations, early bloom is obviously not a good thing as it may result in a misalignment of festival dates with the peak of bloom. “I expect all farms in Ontario will experience a bloom that is about a week ahead of normal,” says Westerveld.


A reminder: harvest timing for lavender depends on what the blooms will be used for. For dried bundles and buds, the optimal timing is at about 10 per cent bloom when all of the buds are fully developed, but there are not too many dry and brown petals on the flowers. Optimal fresh bundle harvest would be about a week later when there are more flowers in bloom. For essential oil, peak oil yield and quality will be between 50 per cent bloom and the end of bloom. Harvest for oil can be delayed until after bloom but the longer you wait the more the oil quality will decline and the more chance that buds will start to fall off the stems.


Source:  ON specialty crops June 7, 2024 report


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Submitted by Karen Davidson on 10 June 2024