Lavender Planted in Fall
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Judy Frisch
Posted on: July 17, 2002

I am planning on planting a plot of lavender. I need some specific instructions for planting.

I live in Missouri and will start with one acre of ground. Debbie, one of your staff members is saying that spring is the best time to plant? Is there such a thing as a fall planting variety.

There is no lavender variety that does better in fall planting than in spring planting. However, as long as the plants arrive in pots, they can be planted just about any time, but they will be better established by winter if they are planted in the spring. If you plant in the fall make sure you mulch the plants well, to avoid frost heaving brought on by freezing and thawing and ice pockets forming under the plants and pushong them out of the ground. Once such a pocket starts it keeps growing. So make sure the plants are solidly planted, so that there are no empty spaces under the plant where water could puddle and start a frost lens during the winter. The mulch keeps the temperature more even and avoids the freezing and thawing that enlarges the ice pocket with each freezing cycle as the water enlarges as it freezes.

I visited one farm in Illinois, USA and it appeared they had the plants, planted in mounds or a ridge?

They probably had clay soil and were trying to provide better drainage by growing in this raised manner.

Instruct on soil mixture what is needed or if lacking what happens?

The plants need excellent drainage as winter wet causes them to rot. A slightly alkaline soil suits them best. The soil should not be too rich if you want strong scent. If you have clay soil, mix in generous amounts of sharp sand. Irrigate if droughty conditions occur. Drought will bother the plants less once they are well established. Winter wet must be avoided.

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