• The Lavender Experiment

    by  • May 11, 2014 • Sierra Foothills

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    What happens if you don’t trim lavender?

    You all may know I like garden experiments. For the last two years I’ve been experimenting with my Spanish lavender field and NOT trimming the blooms off.

    2014 Lavender field

    2014 Lavender field

    This is the field a week ago that I’ve not trimmed OR watered and as I went up to inspect, I noticed something really nice.

    Seven years ago, I planted a grid of 4″ lavender plants, 3 ft apart on an abandoned driveway with a gravel base. Not only are the eighteen plants blooming just as nicely as ever with NO care, but there are dozens of 2-3 inch seedlings ready to be transplanted elsewhere. Bonanza! I’ll be able to plan another field!

    Conclusion: With prices going up for 4″ pots of flowers and herbs, letting your lavender go to seed makes for good value and less work.

    Here is the Lavender field from planting to now:

    2007 Lavender planted

    2007 Lavender was planted on an old driveway uphill from the house, about nine 4″ plants, three ft apart.

     

    2008 More plants were added to create a grid.  They bloom in April and May

    2008 More plants were added to create a grid. They bloom in April and May

     

    2008 Growing but pretty sparse

    2008 Growing but pretty sparse

     

    2010 Blooming in May, now looking like a field!

    2010 Blooming in May, now looking like a field!

     

    Spanish Lavender, Lavandula stoechas, have the largest flowers

    Spanish Lavender, Lavandula stoechas, have the largest flowers

     

    2011 Lavender in full bloom in the gravel soil

    2011 Lavender in full bloom in the gravel soil

     

    2013 Field is a true joy each April and May

    2013 Field is a true joy each April and May.  This is the first Spring bloom after a ‘no trim’ Summer’

     

    2014 Lavender fields hopefully for a long time maybe not forever

    2014 Lavender fields, maybe not forever, but hopefully for a long time

     

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    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.