How to grow lavender

BBC Breakfast: Carol Kirkwood reports from a lavender farm

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Beloved by gardeners for its strong distinct scent, lavender is a popular evergreen plant. As well as winning the approval of gardening fans, insects are also fans of the bushy plant. So lavender is sure to bring buzzing pollinators to a garden.

Purple is the most obvious colour which comes to mind when picturing lavender, but the plant actually comes in a variety of different colours.

Gardening expert Callum Maddock at HomeHow.co.uk said: “One of the best evergreen plants is lavender which usually comes in the form of small shrubs.

“Lavenders are known for their beautiful foliage which add a fragrant aroma to your garden.

“They also come in a wide range of colours including purple, pink, white silver and more so are great for adding a little colour to your garden throughout the seasons.”

When is the best time to plant lavender?

Tender lavender is best planted in the spring months of March through to May.

Around spring time, the soil starts to warm up, making perfect conditions for young lavender plants.

It may be possible to plant larger and more established lavender plants in the autumn months.

How do you grow lavender?

Lavender should usually be grown in well-drained soil in an area of the garden which receives full sun.

However, gardeners should check the specifications for their exact species of lavender when finding a place for the plant.

Some lavenders, such as the Lavandula stoechas, have to be grown in a sheltered spot, according to Gardeners’ World.

When picking a soil for lavender, neutral to alkaline soil is usually best.

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According to Almanac, compacted or clay soil will benefit from some organic matter, as this will help to improve drainage.

Lavender can be planted in hedges, or it can be planted in pots.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) explains on its website: “Space plants 90cm (3ft) apart, or if growing a hedge, 30cm (1ft) apart or, 45cm (18in) for larger cultivars.”

The RHS add: “Lavender can be grown in large pots, 30-40cm (1ft-16in) diameter, using a multipurpose or loam-based compost such as John Innes No 3, with some extra coarse grit, up to 30 percent by volume, to improve the drainage, and some controlled release fertiliser granules.”

When do you prune lavender?

Lavender should be pruned after flowering, which usually occurs around August.

Gardeners’ World explain on their website: “Cut back quite hard but don’t cut into old wood, as this can reduce flowering potential the following year.

“Be careful not to remove green shoots as this can kill the plant.”

Check the exact specification of lavender in your garden when working out when is the best time to prune lavender.

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