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indyspirits

Harvesting Roman Wormwood

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I have a bumper crop of artemisia pontica growing.  Should I harvest continually throughout the growing season or wait until fall? I've read online that "wormwood" should be harvested in July / August. I'm assuming that's for grand wormwood. Are the rules the same for petite?  

Regardless, I've got to get it under control as it's taking over my garden.

Eric (previously ebstauffer)

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Where do you live? I'll be right over.

Because of the variations in climate, you can't really pin it down to "July / August". With absinthium, it's more about harvesting at the right stage of development, in the early flowering/budding phase. 

I always harvest pontica twice: once about mid-season and again in late summer; here in the Pacific Northwest, that's September.  Depending on your climate you might be able to do the same with absinthium.  

Pontica—as you've apparently discovered—is incredibly invasive in climates/soils where it thrives.  It propagates mostly by spreading via rhizomes.  Consider giving it its own raised beds.

Seriously, though, where do you live?

This is how they harvest pontica in Italy:

pontica_harvest.jpg

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I'm in Indianapolis -- USDA Zone 6a.  I've never thought about growing absinthum since it's readily available commercially.  I may have made a mistake with my pontica as I transplanted it to a few of my flower beds.  We don't really have a place for it at the distillery and since you needs so very little in the coloring step I thought, "why not".  I now know "why not".   I'm going to harvest in mid-June and again in late summer.  I'll post a few pics later today.

 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_20160521_081400.resized.resized.jpg

I transplanted this from a single runner last spring. It gets no direct sun. This will be removed today for drying or it will take over my hostas & other non-sun-loving plants.

 

IMG_20160521_081412.resized.jpg

This is the initial bed of pontica planted from two starts in spring of 2014.  I've hacked it back two or three times.  It does get direct sunlight and ample watering.   This should be enough for hundreds of liters of absinthe.

Anyone need a start?

 

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Yes, I am also interested, and I am a little closer than Gwydion, just outside of Chicago. Don't every head up here, do you ;-) But maybe we are a bit too cold in the winter for pontica?

Actually, I am heading down to Springfield today...

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Heading up through Chicago on June 2nd to Milwaukee for the Highland Games.  Also need to drop by my wine locker at 730 W Lake St -- is that near you? I'll bring all you like.  Last winter was mild but the winter below it dropped to a few degrees below zero a time or two.  This stuff seems to be the cockroach of absinthe botanicals.

 

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On 5/21/2016 at 5:24 AM, indyspirits said:

I've never thought about growing absinthum since it's readily available commercially.

Most of the stuff available in regular US commerce is grown and processed for the medicinal trade, not to maximize flavor and aroma characteristics. You might want to consider growing at least some. I think you'll be glad you did.

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