Did you know that overwatering your plants can be harmful to your garden? So is under-watering. The key to having healthy plants is striking a balance. Learn more in today’s episode of Extraction Essentials. Join Tony Frischknecht and Nick Gay as they discuss how you can get the most out of your plants, especially lavender. Discover the proper way of watering and when to harvest for the perfect smell.
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Readying Your Plants For The Perfect Harvest With Nick Gay
I am here with Nick Gay, Head of Product Management. Nick, how are we doing?
I’m doing great. How are you, Tony?
Awesome. We had a great show with you last episode where we discussed the cloning process of plants, more so, the cloning process of lavender. We’re going to continue that journey. If you guys missed the last episode and you’re interested in cloning, please go check it out. As we move forward here, Nick is going to talk to us about the growing process of lavender and then we’re going to talk about the harvesting. People are doing this in their garden. You’re doing this in your garden, correct?
For yourself to make sense, how many of these plants have you created to plant in your garden so that you can have enough biomass to extract anything from?Rosebud essential oil isn't actually made with the rose but with the bud before it is open. Click To Tweet
I have four plants of this exact size and this exact type in my garden.
How big is that pot? Is that an 8-inch pot or a 10-inch pot?
About 8 inches around 1.5 feet tall. I have four of these in my garden and then I have two more of these at my girlfriend’s house. I’m also taking a bunch of clones from them as well that I’m going to be telling you how to plant, how to grow them in order to get, and then harvest so that we can make our essential oils.
What is the difference between the two plants you have?
This is Spanish lavender and this is English lavender. The English lavender is a little bit more hardy. You were here in Colorado, so that’s a good one to pick if you want it to regrow year after year in your garden. Whereas the Spanish lavender is not going to make it through the winter, so I’m either going to have to bring it in or put it in the greenhouse or something like that.
What’s our next step?
As we talked about last time, we took some clones off of this plant so what you could do is you could take these and plant them in your pot of choice. I often like to use bag pots. It’s a fabric pot. The reason I like them is because they are big and cheap. They are usually about $3 for a 5-gallon pot, which is about 2 to 3 times the size of this one. With that, we could put 1, 2, or 3 of these and they were spaced out. That way, we can get to harvest faster as far as where to grow, how much water and things like that, lavender always likes full sun. It prefers a little bit of humidity, which is something I’m not going to be able to give them, but that’s all right. They like to get water, but not too much water. You always want to let the soil dry out almost fully. For example, if you stick your pinky in there, it goes down about 1 inch and it’s still wet, don’t water yet. Right after you plant, you always want to water it in and make sure that it’s about the moisture level of a wrung-out sponge.
What can you share with people about overwatering and underwatering?
Underwatering is you’ll see the plant will get brown leaves or their leaves will start curling, something like that. Whereas overwatering, it may look like your plant is okay and then all of a sudden, you see all these little gnats and bugs flying around, you get root aphids, it could cause mold, mildew, and all that stuff. I always tend to underwater than overwater because of that fact.
It sounds like overwatering can create a lot of problems.
Once you do get all those bugs, they infect all your other plants. You got to rewatch the episode about us making a bug spray and be using that in your garden.
It’s funny that you brought that up. If you are interested in making your insect repellent, please check out our episode. We’ve got a couple of them where we do one on insect repellent and then we also do one for the plants themselves. Watering is extremely important but it’s not only important when it comes down to underwater. It can be an issue too. In my growing past, this was probably the number one thing that we had issues with is teaching people how to correctly water the plants because you can also stress the plant out too if you are not giving it enough water. There’s a happy medium in there. Nick, what’s the next step we’re going to do? We grow this. We’re ready to go. It’s harvest time. What do we do?
The first thing you will want to look for before you harvest is there are certain times when you should harvest. For example, if you want to see these little flowers start, those we’re going to leave on. These are the newest flowers. Those are for the next harvest. If you don’t see any of those yet, don’t start harvesting. The reason behind that is because the plant needs the flowers. The flowers that we’re going to harvest are the oldest ones. You’ll tell that because on this specific strain, they’ll start to produce these things and then they’ll start to dry out. We’ll get right into it and start clipping. Where you’re going to harvest, you leave the leaves. You cut off that much. I’m going to go through here and clip all those off.
You’re specifically clipping the flower down a couple of inches from where those flowers end.
Correct, then you can see here how I left these smaller ones because these are fairly new flowers as well. I don’t want to pick those too early. Also, there’s a lot of people who do some crazy experiments with early harvesting. If you have a bunch of lavender, you want to try it out, harvest some early, and see what the difference are between a mature flower and a smaller flower, a good example of that would be rosebud essential oil where instead of running the actual rose, they run the bud before it open. It produces different flavors and smells.
I’ve heard about this in peppers. If you harvest peppers at different times of their growth cycle, they’re spicier at certain times earlier than later. Some strains you can grow longer and if you want them hotter, you extend their life maybe 1 or 2 weeks prior to harvest then you get a stronger spiciness from the pepper itself.
Another thing is with things like flowers or lettuce, the more fragile things, you’ll always want to harvest that the morning as opposed to the end of the day when it’s been heating up the entire day. That way, you retain a little bit more stuff in there.
We’ve got growing. I’m sure there’s a lot of you guys have questions about that and harvesting. If you guys have questions for us on growing, please reach out to us at ExtractionEssentials.com. We’ll get that info in. We can contact you, and give you some answers. This is not complicated stuff, but there are certain things that can create issues for you. We’ll help you out with that. Please let us know and we can give you some info on that. Next week, we’re going to come with another episode. We’re going to take you through the curing process and also how the little buddy extractor takes and extracts these different compounds from the plant itself. We’ll talk about that. Nick, thank you so much for joining us. This is cool stuff. I enjoy talking to you about this because going through from start to finish is not really thought about very often and understanding those dynamics, sections, and everything that it takes to do this makes you think, “Do I want to do this all on my own or do I want to take it to the next step?” We’re here to show you the next step. Come join us next week for that step. We’ll see you there.
- Nick Gay – LinkedIn
- Episode – How To Make Your Very Own Bug Spray At Home Using Essential Oils With Nick Gay
About Nick Gay
A leader in the CBD and herb industry with 8 years experience in new facility set-up, employee training, SOP creation and integration, product production, extraction and distillation.
A collaborative team player who strives for operational excellence and works across all departments to scale production and create safe work environments.
Skilled in Compliance Management, Management, CBD, THC, SOP Development, and Research and Development (R&D). Strong business development professional with a Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Manufacturing practices focus.