Lavender delivers a sweet scent that is calming and relaxing for the mind. Its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties make it a perfect herb to grow in herb gardens.
Besides, it’s used in bath and body products, such as soaps, creams, and even lotions. Other people use it to heal burns and bug bites. Nonetheless, the lavender flowers can also be used for decoration purposes.
Despite its Mediterranean roots, Lavender can survive in the harshest conditions, provided it receives sunlight and good drainage.
If you intend to grow lavender in your garden, it’s crucial to follow all the lavender growing stages for a successful harvest. We have outlined every lavender growing stage so that you can have an easy time growing this precious Mediterranean herb. Here are the stages
Stage 1: Preparation
Since lavender is a Mediterranean plant, it thrives in a lot of sun and dry soil. Therefore, you should select a perfect spot in your garden that receives abundant sunlight. Lavender needs at least 4 hours of daylight to grow well.
You can plant lavender at the base of rose bushes or along the entrance, or close to a seating area. This will help to protect its sticky legs from strong winds during winter.
Lavender grows best when planted in the spring as the soil is just warming up. If you decide to grow lavender in the fall, make sure to plant well-established plants to withstand the harsh winter season.
Lavender can be grown in most types of soils. This includes clay and sandy soils. If your garden has compacted or clay soil, you need to improve its drainage by adding organic matter. Note that you should avoid planting your herb in wet soil that can cause root rot.
If you don’t have space in your garden, you can also grow lavender in pots. Lavender grown in pots gives the farmer or florist ample time to control the soil’s properties. As a result, you can give your plant ideal growing conditions and allow it to flourish.
Stage 2: Planting
After preparing the soil, next is planting the lavender. Growing lavender from seed is quite challenging. That’s why it’s recommended to buy lavender from a nursery and plant it. Instead of buying lavender online, it’s best if you buy from a local nursery.
Such lavenders will thrive in your location as they are familiar with the conditions. And if your local nursery doesn’t sell lavender, you should do some research and pick a variety of lavender that is ideal for your region or zone. Alternatively, you can cut from a mature plant.
Next is to plant the lavender plant in the location you have chosen. Dig a hole large enough to contain the roots. Space your lavender plants 2 to 3 feet apart as they tend to grow somewhat large. Put fertilizer or mulch in the soil, which will help to fertilize lavender.
Before putting the plant in the hole, cut back decaying or dead parts of the plant to allow good air circulation. This will also help the plant to regrow smoothly. Get rid of excess soil on the roots and remove damaged roots.
It’s now time to plant your lavender in the hole. Make sure there is a small layer of soil on top of the fertilizer. Finally, place your plant in the hole and fill soil around it. Put pea gravel or rock on top of the soil covering the plant. This will help to limit weed growth.
Stage 3: Caring
One of the most demanding stages of growing lavender is caring for it. For the first few days after transferring lavender from the nursery to your herb garden, you will have to water them at least twice a week until they have fully established.
In other words, you will have to wait for the soil to dry out before re-watering them. During watering, ensure that the roots are well soaked. But those individuals who live in hot areas where it rains during summer should forego watering when the ground is wet.
Besides applying fertilizer or mulch when growing lavender, you should also use the same in early spring. Add the fertilizer around the plant and water it thoroughly. Avoid applying excessive fertilizer as it may lead to unhealthy growth.
The trickiest part about caring for lavender is pruning. You will have to be vigilant the whole year-round to ensure that your plant grows smoothly. Therefore, you will have to inspect your lavender and prune dead or dying shoots continually.
Remove any dead shoot or one-third of the plant using pruning shears. This will encourage healthy new growth to come up and prevent the plant from becoming weak at the base. This is typically done in early spring before new growth comes out.
If you’re growing your lavender in cold zones, you may need to provide them with additional protection. Cover your plants with winter much of straw, which will assist in blocking winds and temperatures. And if you decide to grow your lavender in pots, make sure to put the pot in a south-facing window. The plant will get enough sunlight to thrive inside the house.
Stage 4: Harvest
Lavender has several uses that determine how it’s harvested. Some may harvest lavender for decoration purposes, while others may want it for culinary practices.
Regardless of what you intend to use the lavender for, here are some tips on how to harvest your plant.
- Always harvest your plant in the morning when the oils are highly concentrated
- Cut the lavender stems when half of the flower buds have opened
- Avoid cutting the woody part of the plant as this will damage the plant
Growing lavender is not easy. Even though the plant can survive in severe conditions, it needs proper drainage and enough sunlight to flourish. If you want to grow healthy lavenders, follow the growing stages above.
It doesn’t matter if you’re growing lavender for aesthetic beauty, culinary practice, or as a medicinal plant. All the best growing lavender in your herb garden!