Hello lavender fans!
In the last of the ‘Lavender Growing Series’, we shall describe the best conditions to plant your lavender in the ground, for all of you who have established pots of the plant and for those of you who are looking to buy in some lavender for your garden.
Lavender definitely grows at its best when planted in the ground. Once it is established in the right conditions, it can last for decades with minimal amounts of care. The oldest plants we have on the farm are 17 years old!
When to bed the Lavender?
Between April and May, just as the ground begins to warm up.
Which Lavender to plant where?
Here at Hitchin Lavender, we recommend that in your gardens you opt for a species of lavender called angustifolia. Lavender can be fairly notorious for growing to huge sizes, taking over much bigger areas in your gardens than anticipated, sometimes taking over whole beds. For borders, an angustifolia will remain contained, creating a satisfyingly organised row. If this is something that interests you then make sure you look out for ‘lavandula angustifolia’ on the label. There are about a hundred different varieties of angustifolia, lots of different colours to choose from, but they all share the characteristic of being an easy to care for plant.
The one issue with this species of plant, is that it can self-seed, meaning that it can grow other smaller plants around the rows, almost like weeds. So if you do go for this option, be aware of this.
If you do have a larger area that you want filling with lavender, then the other species we would recommend is lavandin or intermedia. This grows a lot longer in the stem, sometimes growing to 3 feet in length and is ideal for filling a big beds. Again, if this is something that you are looking for, look for ‘lavandula x intermedia’ on the label.
What are the best conditions?
Lavender grows best in a chalk based soil. If you live in a clay rich area, then you need to add grit or sand to the soil to allow the water to permeate through. A lavender will not grow best if it is sitting in water, in fact it really needs an arid climate – think of the rows in Provance – so make sure not to plant too near to flowers requiring a lot of water! Lavender also grows at its best on a south facing slope, anything that encourage quick surface run off during rain fall, though this isn’t a necessity.
How to plant the lavender.
Once the optimal spot in your garden has been chosen and an area has been cleared, you are ready to plant your lavender!
It is a very straightforward process. Dig hole big enough for lavender, put lavender plant in said hole, cover up with soil, jobs a good’en.
Once it is in the ground, make sure that it is well watered for the first 7-10 days or so, to give it the best chance to really establish itself in the ground. After that it will not need any watering at all! If you wanted rows of lavender, make sure to plant them with a foot in between them.