Last year I put a new garden in my Central Texas yard. It’s a 30×50 foot experiment that’s been a lot of fun. I’ve had successes and failures a plenty as I learn to garden in the South. The biggest success is my lavender hedge. Year two looks to be even better than the last.
Lavender almost takes care of itself. As long as you have picked a site that is well drained and gets at least 6 hours of sun, you will have healthy plants with few problems.
I started this hedge with 20 plant starts in four-inch pots. The foliage was no more than 4 inches tall. During this first year, they have grown to a height of 10 inches and when in full bloom will reach 20 inches.
I chose this particular type (sweet lavender) because the plants will eventually reach a height of 24 inches and when they are in full bloom the hedge will provide a wind break of 36-42 inches. This is a much-needed relief for my garden that is always getting tossed about by the southern wind.
Second Year Spring Maintenance
In the north, most lavender plants will benefit from frost protection in the winter. Now that days are getting longer and warmer it is safe to remove the straw or pine boughs that protected them from harsh winds and snow. Here in the south lavender does not need frost protection.
No matter where you live, you’ll want to keep the plants attractive and compact, so you may want to give your lavender hedge a pruning. As much as one-half the stem can be taken without any damage. Too much pruning will delay blooms, (and isn’t that why we grow them!) so it should only be done in the early spring before any hint of growth or blooms. You can also cut them back again in the fall after blooming.
As a bonus, be sure to use those fragrant cuttings to propagate a whole set of new plants.
Not too much fertilizer
Lavender plants prefer poor soil and giving them too much fertilizer will prevent blooming. The best time for fertilizing is in early spring, at the start of the growing season. Add an inch of composted manure around the plant and lightly dig it into the top inch of soil.
Another option is slow release fertilizer, which will last for the entire season. Again, early spring is the only time to do this.
Rough up the plant
The last thing that I like to do with my lavender plants in the spring is “rough them up”, which is my way of cleaning up the plant and removing any dead leaves.
It’s easier than it sounds and it won’t cause any black eyes – just rough your hands over individual stalks and let the dead leaves fall. You’ll find that after the winter months, the bottom of the stalks will need a bit of cleaning to make way for new growth.
That’s really all there is to a lavender hedge year 2. A bit of compost and a bit of cleaning and you’ll be enjoying a wonderfully fragrant summer harvest.
Be sure to head over and read the original post titled How to Plant a lavender Hedge for a Garden Windbreak if you are considering planting your own. I highly recommend it!