Make a Beautiful Windbreak for Your Garden
There are few herbs that bring as much delight as lavender. Its sweet smell and beautiful color brighten any home garden. Scent and color aside, lavender is a hard worker too, providing flowers for cooking, crafting, and herbal preparations. Lavender also mounds nicely into hedges to enhance your garden.
Problem: The Southern Wind
In my Texas yard, I have a new garden tilled and ready for planting. There’s a problem, though. It’s that pesky southern wind. During sunny days it blows and whips through my garden, drying out my crops FAST. I need a way to SLOW it down.
Enter the lavender hedge as a wind break.
Lavender hedges make fantastic windbreaks. A windbreak reduces soil drying, wind erosion, and stress on crop plants, thus increasing yields. Hedges sited along contours can reduce rainfall erosion on slopes. Once my new lavender hedge reaches maturity it will be 3 to 4 feet tall and 40 feet wide. It will be beautiful.
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Benefits of lavender as a hedge
- Attracts bees to your garden
- Lovely smell
- Acts as a wind break
- Lavender is an easy care plant, only requiring a shearing (back to 6-8 inches) in the spring.
- Drought tolerant
- Deer won’t bother it
- Good for crafts or herbal preparations
- Some types of lavender are edible
Lavender Cultivars for your Lavender Hedge
To grow lavender successfully in your climate, choose one that is perfectly suited to your area. Luckily there are many and you can find them at your local nursery. These businesses are vested in customer service and will only be selling plants that work for your climate.
When choosing lavender for making a windbreak hedge, look for cultivars that will reach at least 2 feet at maturity, however, 3 to 4 feet is even better.
Sweet Lavender or Lavandula heterophylla is a tough, quick growing lavender that reaches 3-4 feet in size when in bloom. It is perfectly suited to zone 8-11 and the hot, windy conditions that can arise in the Texas summer.
These fragrant flowers have a slight piney undertone making this hybrid not a great choice for culinary use. The lovely violet flowers may be used for fresh bundles but it does not dry well as the buds tend to drop. It will be perfect for the lavender wands I like to make.
Related: 5 Useful and Fun Things to Do With Your Lavender Harvest
Lavender Grosso – Bears large fat lavender flower spikes over 2 to 3 feet tall mounded plants. You can easily find Grosso Lavender plants for sale in most nurseries because Grosso is a hearty grower, producing an abundance of Lavender flowers containing large amounts of essential oil. It fills in to make a beautiful hedge.
Hidcote Giant – If you can find it, this lavender grows up to 4 feet tall with deep blue flowers. According to Everything Lavender, Hidcote Giant is an intermediate Lavandin and very vigorous grower (36 – 40 inches) with a lovely strong fragrance. It looks like you may be able to purchase plants there, too. The bloom time is in early summer.
Related: Harvesting Lavender
- Lavender plants require full sun and well-drained soil.
- Amend the soil with organic matter at planting time.
- Depending on your cultivar you should plan on spacing the plants 12 to 15 inches apart. Most hedges will fill in within one year.
- There is no need to remove excessive rocks (which is great because my garden is full of them!)
- Lavender does not need fertilizer the first year.
- No need to cut back at planting.
- To give your plants the best chance of success, make sure the roots are not root bound from being in pots. A root bound plant may wilt quickly, have yellow or brown leaves, especially near the bottom of the plant, and may have stunted growth.
- Place stakes and string to define the area and keep your hedge straight.
HGTV recommends to keep your lavender plants young, bushy and healthy, you need to cut them back in late winter or early spring.
If you are looking for other water-wise perennial plantings for your windswept garden, refer to this article from I Dig Green Acres.
Once established, this lavender hedge windbreak will give my garden the protection it needed from the harsh southern wind. The benefit of attracting pollinators and beautiful flowers is certainly a bonus too!
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Victoria Malkowski says
This is a very good idea! I’ve been thinking of planting lavender for few years already. May be now’s the time to do this. Thank you for the nice and helpful information! Surely recommending your post to my sister and to some friends too. Greets!
Where do you purchase your lavender cultivars? Have you ever planted seeds? Which variety grows tall and is edible?
Thank you for sharing this post.
Dyan Summers says
You can propagate lavender, take a cutting that is not new growth, remove any flowers and simply plant in a well drained garden bed. Within 6-8 weeks you will notice fresh growth on your cutting.
Neat idea! Your yard is going to smell phenomenal!
I wish you had a picture showing the lavender hedge you planted.
So many bees,though! It really needs to be planted where people will not be in close proximity.
It’s wonderful for my garden!
Though I can understand those who are allergic being cautious, the bees have never been a problem with my plants. I don’t bother them, and they don’t bother me. I love watching them on the lavender, as well as our linden tree when it’s in full bloom.
Dyan Summers says
I live in an Islnd in Bass Strait, Tasmania, Australia and the Westerley winds cause chaos in my garden. Would a Lavender Hedge protect my garden?
Yes, but it’s not a quick solution. My lavender hedge is in year two. It’s beautiful and producing quite a bit of lavender, but not providing much of a windbreak at this time.
Susie Hesse says
Hi, this is very interesting. I have a big sunny garden with good soil and have never been successful with lavender, which is a bummer because I love it. Thanks for such a complete “step by step.” It’s just what I need.
Susie @ Venice Hill Garden Girl (site still under construction)
Wonderful to learn of best varieties gir hedging. Also I didn’t think of tge windbreak benefit. I learned from other Pinterest posts that a lavender hedge is also a deterrent for certain critters that would otherwise devour your crops. They don’t like the strong fragrance as they brush against it. I’ve been working on creating a hedge for a while and now I feel confident that I will succeed. Thank you!
Attractive to look at and much loved by bees and butterflies, these aromatic features are easy to grow, requiring no feeding and little maintenance beyond an annual clip as the flowers begin to fade.
Judi Oldridge says
I love your posts!
Sandra lluis says
I been looking to buy lavender plants for a while now, can somebody please tell me where can I find Spanish or French or any kind of lavender? If so I will really appreciate!!!
caitlin Mclauchlan says
Love Do you have any updated photos ?
I’m new to Texas…in New Braunfels! I love lavender! I would like to see your posts for whatever you suggest in creating my new garden.. Hydrangeas are also a favorite. I literally have a blank canvas to work in and not the foggiest idea of getting started. First request for my husband is to save coffee grounds and filters!