Growing Lavender, Herbs & Vegetables
Do you have "Lavenderitis" and want to plow up your yard or fields and plant lovely Lavender, lots of it?
Check with your local garden club members, go to a meeting and chat about their successes or trials growing Lavender in your area.
Check with your largest garden centre. Do they stock Lavender? What kinds?
Buy a dozen or so plants, different varieties, a couple of each. See how they grow in your backyard - before you plant 1,000 babies.
Growing in Victoria
Victoria generally has a Mediterranean climate. Winters recently saw extreme low temperatures that put all our Lavender plants to test! Our normal lows of minus 10C (or 14F) dipped to minus 18C (or -0.4F) in 2010 swiftly killing all fancy French and Spanish Lavenders plus Rosemary ... not so unusual. Yet also killing Thymes & Sages in ... very unusual! Gardeners were more cautious replanting known semi-tropical choices in 2011.
We are hoping for a more temperate winter entering 2012. Do watch for any flooding conditions, from melting snow or heavy rains, as these tend to drown even hardy Sweet Lavenders in low lying gardens or fields ... Choose open higher ground if possible. Strong Lavender blooms rich in essential oils need descent heat while developing and ripening. Remembering like most farmers crops harvesting must be done on a dry day.
Try to do your Lavender plantings March-April or September-October as these planting "windows" are more moderate weather wise and will not need as much extra watering to settle in for new root growth. Contrary to the myth that Lavenders can survive poor garden conditions, do keep in mind you want them to thrive if you expect any "crop" of beautiful blooms ... Experienced gardeners will be adding supporting TLC in the way of extra water, extra nutrients and fuss as necessary, especially in the first year after planting to ensure years of your Lavender crop!
Find lots of growing and gardening tips in Lynda's Gardening Articles from the Metchosin Muse.