Lavender Farming - Knowledgebase Question

Escondido, CA
Avatar for gandaaldridg
Question by gandaaldridg
March 15, 2000
I have about 3 acres of scrub land which I would like to put into lavender. How much soil amendment would be required, as there is little topsoil and the type of soil is mainly disintergrated granite. Also how much water would be needed and are lavender plants tolerant of salts in the water.

Answer from NGA
March 15, 2000
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.

The plant thrives best in light and rather dry soils, but will do well almost anywhere. On low or wet land it is more susceptable to winter kill, therefore it is best to mulch it well for winter protection.

It grows slowly, and usually does not flower for a few years after planting. Be patient with it!

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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