Lavender is a favourite plant for many gardeners, valued for its sweet-smelling flowers that you can use in cooking, potpourri, dried flower arrangements and home remedies. A good place to grow lavender is in a raised bed. The raised bed provides drainage, helping the lavender to grow better than it would if planted directly into the ground. You can use many different materials to make a raised bed, but a simple bed can be assembled from inexpensive breeze blocks.
Find a sunny area for your raised bed. Measure the area where you want to build the raised bed so you can calculate how many breeze blocks you need to build your bed frame.
Remove any vegetation growing in the area. With a spading fork, dig up the soil to loosen it. This will help provide adequate drainage, which lavender plants need to thrive.
Arrange breeze blocks in a rectangle to make the frame of your lavender bed. You can make the bed as long as you want, but restrict the width to 4 feet so you can reach into the middle of the bed to tend it. You can also add another layer of breeze blocks on top of the bottom layer to make the sides higher, so you won't have to bend over as far to plant, weed or water the lavender bed.
Fill the frame with potting soil designed for drainage--lavender plants thrive in dry and low-fertility soil. Fill the raised bed until it is 1/2 inch from the top of the breeze blocks. The soil will settle when you water. Level the soil with a rake and then water thoroughly. Allow the soil to settle for 4 to 7 days.
Plant the lavender 18 inches apart in rows 24 inches apart. Make sure all danger of frost is over, choose plants that appear hardy and verify that the variety you choose is recommended for your zone.
Water the lavender plants thoroughly. Add a 2-inch layer of mulch around the plants, but keep it 2 inches away from the bases of the plants themselves. This will help to keep the weeds down and hold in moisture. Although lavender plants tolerate drought, they will bloom more abundantly if watered regularly.
Prune the lavender plants after they have flowered by removing spent flowers, but prune no more than one third of the overall plant. This will help with air circulation and prevent disease.
Raised beds dry out faster than level ground--check the soil frequently.
Tips and warnings
- Raised beds dry out faster than level ground--check the soil frequently.