How to Grow Lavender
Native to the Mediterranean basin, in modern times Lavender is prized worldwide for the gentle and soothing therapeutic properties. Although it is commonly utilized for wound and skin healing abilities of the essential oil, Lavender also makes a soothing tea or nervine tincture. A hardy and familiar addition to any herb garden!
Perennial (zones 4-9)
Slightly alkaline, well-drained
12 - 18" apart
DAYS OF HARVEST
Indoor starting is recommended for Lavender. Give yourself plenty of time, sowing seeds 8-10 weeks before last frost in winter. The small seeds are light dependant, so tamp lightly or cover with a thin layer of soil (1/8" deep). Transplant growing seedlings to larger container once they become established. Once temperatures have started to heat up in mid spring, and there is no more chance of a freeze, your plants are ready to transplant outside.
Space plants at least 12" apart, and plant shallowly so that roots are barely covered with soil.
Collect spikes (stems with leaves and flowers) on a warm, dry summer day, and dry by hanging upside down out of direct sunlight. Do not collect spikes until they have started to dry out and become more rigid, and flowers are close to bloom.
Lavender seeds need a cold period (aka cold stratifying) in order to grow, so you should refrigerate them for a few months before planting. Once they're dry, lavender seeds can be stored in plastic containers (film canisters work great!), a paper bag, or in small envelopes.
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