Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Friday, October 19, 2007

The benefits of lavender

I am down to one large lavender plant in my garden, and next year I have plans to plant many many more. Lavender plants tend to weaken with age, and often need to be replaced every 5-6 years. After our vegetable garden was removed in September, I decided to relocate and replace many of my herb plants. I removed my 3 lavender plants which were becoming "woody" and sprawling. One of my favorite herbs, lavender has been used throughout the centuries for it's sweet perfume, and soothing, calming qualities. I use lavender in a number of my products, both the buds and essential oil of the plant. If you are having trouble sleeping, try a bath with lavender soap, or tub tea made with lavender buds and essential oil. Spritz your bed linens with a lavender linen mist to promote sweet dreams. If you have plans to add lavender to your spring garden consider the following:

Lavender is hardy in zones 5-8 and should be planted in FULL sun.

Rejuvenate your soil now with aged manure or compost for spring planting

Lavender is a perennial, and grows to a height of 2-3 feet so plan accordingly

There are many varieties of lavender, so check with your garden center for the best variety for your area. I plant the English lavenders, since I have found the spanish variety does not do well in my humid southern weather.

Prevent waterlogging, or "wet feet" by adding some sand to your soil. Lavender will not tolerate my Georgia clay soil without some amendment to loosen the soil. I did not need to water my lavender throughout our drought this summer since it tolerates dry conditions.

When planting your new plants, (either purchased or from cuttings), do not harvest the first year.

You can experience the benefits of my lavender products by clicking on the links below: Sweet dreams!

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