QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE
1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to part sun.
2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 5 to 9.
3. Planting Distance - 1 to 3 feet apart in ground.
4. Mature Height/Spread - 12 to 36 inches tall with a spread of about the same. 'Munstead' - 15 to 18 inches tall with a 24 inch spread.
5. Bloom Time - Late spring to summer.
6. Planting Instructions -
Potted plants: Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the pot in which your plant was grown. Please note that many of our pots are biodegradable. If your plant is not in a traditional plastic pot then you may place the entire biodegradable pot in the ground; otherwise, gently remove the root ball from the pot. Partially backfill the hole with soil and place the plant into the hole. The top of the root ball should be level with the ground surrounding the hole. Refill the hole with soil, firming the soil around the plant with your fingers. Check to be sure that the plant is not planted too deeply. If it is, raise the plant carefully and refirm the soil. Water thoroughly.
Bareroot Plants: Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the bare root divisions received. Place a mound of soil in the bottom of each hole and carefully spread the dormant bare roots out in their planting holes. Cover completely with 1 to 2 inches of soil, gently tamping the soil. Water thoroughly.
GET THE MOST ENJOYMENT
There is no experience more wonderful and satisfying than going out into the garden and cutting dozens of your own fresh flowers to bring into the home. With today's high prices of cut flowers many gardeners chose to grow their own as there is nothing like constant beauty outside the window that is always available for 'instant' fresh indoor bouquets at an economical price. Plus, these lavenders do 'double duty' after they are dried as the dried flower spikes can be made into fragrant sachets. Lavender lovers can never have too many and like to place them all about their homes for fragrance. Place a sachet in your drawers, closet, bathrooms, even hang them from your doorknobs and enjoy the heavenly scent anywhere. They also make lovely gifts and party favors any time of the year.
Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office. These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance. See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:
1. Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.
2. To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.
3. After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.
Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground. Do not allow plants in containers to dry out. In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat. You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e., in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).
Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.
Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.
Grooming - Clip off unsightly or dead growth to maintain the plants good form and shape. Cut flower stalks between the bottom blossom and the uppermost leaves.
Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.
Pruning and Harvesting - It takes about three years for lavender to reach full size. Plants should be pruned every year immediately after bloom. Pruning should not be confused with harvesting. Pruning is necessary to extend the life of the plant because lavender gets very woody if not pruned. Lavender flower wand stems are a bright green and lavender leaves are gray. Cut back not only the flower stem, but also about a third of the gray-leaved stems as well. Avoid pruning back so far that only woody stems with no leaves are showing as it may die.
Harvest the flowers according to end use. For a fresh bouquet pick when the flowers are in full bloom and scent. For dried bundles the stem must be harvested before the florets completely open. If you wait until the flower is open it will fall apart when they are dried. Take a handful of stems and cut them off at the base of the plant and then wrap rubber bands around them. To dry them hang them upside down. Drying takes about two weeks, but keep good circulation around your bundles to avoid them falling part or rotting. Harvesting the lavender for oil must be done at the peak of the day's heat. Essential oil can be extracted by steam distillation from the fresh flowers.
Winterizing - After frost has blackened the foliage of your perennials, apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straw, or leaves to in-ground plantings to prevent lifting of the plant's roots during alternating periods of freezing and thawing.
For container planting, move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area be sure you water them well once every 2 to 3 weeks and water as needed.
In spring, remove mulch from in-ground plantings and remove any dead or damaged parts on any plants. Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.
CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.