Lavender Winter Protection
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Josslyn
Posted on: November 13, 2001

In the spring I purchased 200 lavender plants from you. I have lost aproximately 10%; the remaining plants have grown very well. Now what do I do? Do I mulch them and with what. I live on the escarpment (Ontario, Canada), they are very exposed with no winter shelter. My thought is if I mulch with straw, the mice will think they are in paradise, do mice eat lavender? Should I leave them to chance? Seems very cruel, or my other thought was to bank up the sides with soil or wood chips. Do you have any advice for me?

You should definitely winter mulch your plants, especially since they are so young. The trick to discouraging mice is to apply the mulch late- after the ground has frozen hard. The mice have found shelter elsewhere by that time and are not likely to move! However just in case a nearby resident wakes up long enough to move house, bury some rat poison under your mulch. Put the poison into a plastic pot with a lid (a great yogourt pot recycling idea) and cut a mousehole sized hole near the bottom so that mice can get in but pets are kept out. Remove the mulch in early spring, before rotting can take place.

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