How To Grow and Use Lavender
Lavender is a fairly easy plant to grow. It's many uses make it one of the most popular herbs to grow in backyard gardens, and containers.
Lavender is the little herb that could. It can do anything. Lavender has anti bacterial properties, so it's great for healing. The scent is known for its relaxation properties. It's also great in a cut flower arrangement, a dried flower arrangement, potpourris, and it turns out great as a pressed flower.
Lavender loves sunny locations with dry rocky soil. Many varieties will thrive if you plant them in full sun, with well drained soil.
Lavender will tolerate drought more than it will tolerate flooding. Lavender plants hate to have wet, or damp roots for long periods of time.
If you're in USDA zone 5 or colder you should shield your lavender plants from the cold winds of winter. Plant your lavender in a sheltered location, or in containers you can move when the weather turns frigid.
Growing Lavender From Seed
Most varieties of Lavender can be grown from seed, but some varieties do not produce seed, and have to be grown from cuttings.
Lavender can be challenging to grow from seeds, most varieties have a low germination rate. Germination is also slow, it can take two weeks or more for most lavender seeds to germinate.
Plant your seeds in a soil less mixture, and keep the soil moist, but not wet. If the soil is too wet the seeds will not grow, and you will be more likely to have problems with fungus.
The seeds need light to germinate, so only cover them very lightly with soil. Place them in a warm sunny location.
Lavender grows very slowly from seed, so it may take several months to get a plant large enough to plant in the garden.
When you're ready to re-pot, or plant your lavender gradually acclimate it to it's new home before you make it a permanent resident.
Lavender Seed Collection
Park's Lavender Seed Collection
Contains Lavender English, Lavender French Long, Lavender Hidcote Blue, and Lavender Munstead. If you're like me, there is never enough Lavender growing in the garden, even at the height of its season!
All of lavender's luscious qualities come together in this comprehensive volume that covers how to grow it and use its flowers and oils for a variety of healing, cooking, and beauty purposes. Drying lavender for making sachets, wands, and wreaths is covered, as well as extracting its essential oils to make body oil, body powder, and lip balm. A culinary section features recipes for making staples such as lavender pepper, salt, honey, sugar, and vinegar, as well as full meals that feature herbed chevre with crostini, lavender pistachio lamb chops, and lavender ice cream. Lavender's healing properties include alleviating motion sickness, reducing nightmares, and acting as a decongestant
How To Start Lavender From Cuttings
Most lavender varieties are best started from a cutting taken from an existing plant. This is the best method to use if you're trying to get the exact same plant.
Take a cutting of the lavender you'd like to grow. Make the cutting no longer than 3." Put the cutting into a soilless mixture, in a sterile container. With the cut side down in the soil.
Make sure no leaves are touching the soil mixture, this may cause the plant to rot.
Plant several cuttings at the same time, not all of them will grow.
Keep your potting medium moist but not soggy. To keep the plants humid you may want to place the pot in a plastic bag, especially for the first few days. Open the bag for a while each day so the plant doesn't gather too much moisture.
After a couple weeks gradually acclimate the plant to it's permanent environment. Once the plant has developed a good root system, you can carefully transplant it into a regular pot, with potting soil.
If you consider yourself a lavender lover--that is to say, if you are mesmerized by the plant's delicious aroma, enchanted by its long, rich history, and passionate about its medicinal uses, The Lavender Garden is for you.
This lovely book offers instructions on growing, maintaining, harvesting, and drying the plant. Author Robert Kourik includes a comprehensive profile of each variety including history, cultivation, bloom period, flower and foliage shapes, and landscape and culinary use--information that's most useful in determining which of the 16 varieties are right for one's garden. Each entry also contains suggestions on companion plantings that achieve the most aesthetic effect.
How To Dry Lavender
The best method for drying lavender is to hang it upside down in small bunches held together by rubber bands.
Hang the lavender in a warm dry place.
Herbal Lavender Oatmeal Bath
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup fresh rosemary (1/2 cup dried)
1 cup fresh lavender flowers
Â½ cup baking soda
How To Make It:
Place oatmeal in a food processor, and process until it has a powder consistency. Add cornmeal and continue processing. Add rosemary, lavender, and baking soda and process for 5 minutes. Fill small muslin bags with the mixture, and store in a closed glass container.
To use: Place a bag in the bathtub with the water running. You can also use the bag as a scrub. The oatmeal softens your skin. The rosemary's great for your complexion, and the lavender gives it all a wonderful scent.
Lavender Bath Bags
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup dried lavender
6 muslin bags
twine or ribbon
How To Make It
Mix the oatmeal and lavender in a bowl. Pour the mixture into the bags and tie with twine, making a bow or loop. After you have filled the tub, swish the sachet through the hot water a few times. Hang the sachet on the tap to dry, it can be used several times. This recipe makes 6 small bath bags.