Lavender is a low-maintenance landscape plant once it is established. These plants are low-growing and compact bushes that thrive in sunny areas with well-drained soil. Lavender is celebrated by Oregon State Extension Service as drought-resistant or "water-wise." The flowers of lavender range from purple to pink to white. The buds and leaves emit a soft floral scent that attracts honeybees and repels neighbourhood cats.
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Things you need
- Lavender plants
- Measuring tape
- Wooden board
- Marking pen
Measure the length, width and height of the desired hedge when it reaches maturity. Although lavender plants develop long flower stalks that will add to their height and width, the Sunset Garden Book recommends pruning these off at the end of summer.
Pick the appropriate variety. Buy lavender starts based on height and spread, hardiness and flower colour. Lavender tends to maintain a round shape, so the height will equal the width of the mature plant. Gardeners in northern climates should choose winter-hardy species.
Select a location that gets full sun with well-drained soil. Root rot is a problem for lavender in moist areas.
Lay a board on the ground in the area that the new hedge will be planted according to your measurements. Using the marking pen, mark the board to note the places where the centres of the new starts will be planted.
Prepare the ground by manually removing weeds and loosening soil. Use of herbicides will damage the tender roots of the new lavender plants.
Dig a hole 3 inches deeper than the depth of the lavender plant's root ball for each plant. Geoff Hamilton, author of The Organic Garden Book, suggests placing a 3-inch layer of well-rotted compost at the base of each hole.
Remove new plants from the pot carefully. Disentangle roots that may be pushing through the bottom of the pot.
Plant each lavender start in its prepared hole and cover the plant's root with soil up to the base of the aerial (above-ground) growth.
Water new starts thoroughly. Water the new hedge weekly for the first few months until it is established.
Tips and warnings
- Plant new hedges in the spring. This encourages new growth and allows the plant to adjust to its new surroundings without suffering from undue stress.
- Prune lavender hedges in the late summer or fall after the flowers have faded.
- Lavender does not require additional fertiliser after it is established. An additional top dressing of mulch in the spring will keep the plants weed-free through the year.
- Examine new lavender plants for signs of insect damage or disease before purchasing them.
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