Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How We Grow Lavender


Let me just start by saying, lavender doesn't grow well in North Texas!
If I lived about 3 hours south down interstate 35 I would have fields of it.
Down around Austin there are real lavender farms, acres upon acres of lavender.
It's the new cash crop!
Austin is hilly... read.... loose, drainable soil.
We have tight, not so drainable soil.
What grows well here are cotton and maize, useful crops I'm sure,
 cotton and maize don't make for a good soap or bath tea....


What to do, what to do?
We've tried and failed with the elusive lavender
until we talked with a master gardener.
She was one of the speakers at the lawn and garden expo a few years ago.
Her advice was....
Dig a large hole, add about one gallon of pea gravel, 
insert the lavender plant,
backfill halfway with pea gravel,
backfill remainder of hole with your native soil,
ring your lavender from the stem out, about two feet,
with a layer of white marble chips.

 The dynamics are...
the pea gravel mimics the rocky soil, aiding in drainage,
the ring of white marble chips reflect the sun into the plant center
aiding in faster dry time of the foliage during wet weather.

Seems to be working, we have eight lavender plants all doing great.

As to the type of lavender,
we have one spike, huge plant but the flowers are very elongated,
the other seven are Spanish,
it's more compact, with bushier (fatter) flowers.
I prefer the Spanish.
Lavender it seems, likes loose, rocky, well drained soil.
Don't over water.

I hope you give lavender a try, it's a lovely plant and our bees love it,
 they also love the buford holly and the rosemary.
Let me know if you have success with this method.

And, as usual, it's way past my bed time.
Till next time,


brendie said...

i LOVE lavendar terry, so relaxing. we have lavendar farms here. ive seen one just out side of Rotorua (an hour away) which is volcanic soil so lots of drainage.
and there is a big commercial farm outside of Napier where i used to live (3 1/2hrs away) at a settlement called Eskdale, that is old riverbed so again free draining, they also grow grapes for wine making at Eskdale. I have thought about having a few tubs of it on my deck, i shall remember to add lots of gravel to the base of my containers first. :)

Nancy said...

Thanks for the tips, Terry. I just planted my seeds yesterday, but I'm hopeful they will germinate and I will follow your instructions! :)

Terry M Scott (AKA Terry Mann) said...

Good luck to both of you, I've never tried it from seed.

Maybe that's what we did wrong with our grapes, not good drainage.
I'll do more research on that.

Leontien said...

oh i love lavender! I tried it in our garden one year, but i didn't go too well... the spot was wrong and it might have been a bit thirsty at times.....


Tami / Maddie Lumpkin said...

Thanks for the tips Terry. Gonna give her another try.I've wondered about lavender fields. Bet they would be heavenly to live near. Also thanks for the comments on my blog. The kindlin did turn out pretty good!