The Q&A Archives: Lavender Farming

Question: I am considering starting a small family lavendar farm. Do you have any information on climate, soils,& best type of plant? Also, are there any books or magazines that could help me get started?

Answer: Lavender grows best in full sunshine, in average, well-draining garden soil. The most widely planted is Lavandula angustifolia, and it has that classic lavender fragrance which is used in perfume and sachets. Lavandula dentata, or French lavender, will grow well in your gardening region, as well, and will bloom almost continually. Both plants grow to about 3' tall, with equal width.

Another consideration might be Lavandula stoechas, or Spanish lavender. It's a short, stocky plant, but produces spikes of dark purple flowers in abundance.

There's a wealth of information on growing lavender in the following publications:

The Lavender Garden: Beautiful Varieties to Grow and Gather
by Robert Kourik, published by Chronicle Books.

Lavender: How To Grow and Use the Fragrant Herb, by Ellen Spector Platt, published by Kitchen Keepsakes.

(You might also find some interesting sites on the internet.)

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