Lavender Hedges

In general Lavenders require well-drained neutral to alkaline soil, although some of the stoechas forms can grow happily on an acid soil.

The soil that most lavender hates is a wet soil especially in the winter. It is more usual for lavender to die from being too wet in the winter than from frost damage. It is essential you plant your lavender be it a hedge or individual plants in a sunny position. They will not be happy being shaded by trees or anywhere else there is dense shade.

The question most people ask is how much to space the plants out either in a hedge or an informal planting. For hedging purposes the ideal spacing is 30cm and for informal plantings 45-90 cm is ideal depending upon the eventual size of the plant. When planting a hedge it is best suggested to plant just one variety in that hedge. In general all the angustifolias and intermedia types are best suited for a formal hedge. It is important when planting a new hedge to keep the plants watered until they are established then any further watering should be unnecessary. If the ground has been well prepared prior to planting by forking over and adding a little bone meal, and adding some grit for better drainage where necessary, there should be little need for any further application of fertiliser.

Once established a light addition of potash around the base of the plants will encourage the flowering of the plant in that season. It is far better to starve the plant as this will produce a sturdy and tough plant that will reward with good flowering and a strong habit.

Pruning is the next big question that is most asked. It is really quite simple, after flowering trim them back hard to approximately 20cm but always ensuring that there are some leaves below the point at which you have cut. Within no time at all they will be shooting up from the base and forming the new framework for a great plant the following year. This may seem drastic but will produce a long lasting and healthy plant.

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