Here in Virginia, depending on the variety, lavender blooms from early June through mid-July. We provide baskets and scissors (adult and kid-safe) to you on your visit. You will be scouting to the field to find lavender stems that are starting to open. Generally you look for the florets on the bloom to be one-third to one-half open. These are best to cut for drying and maintaining their scent. You can cut a nice long stem, down to where the leaves are clustered. There will be farm staff available to show you what to do and answer your questions. We also provide paper towels, water and bags so your flowers can go home moistened. You can enjoy your lavender bouquet in a vase with water for awhile or you can immediately hang or lay flat your lavender bunch to dry in a dark, cool place. They will be finished drying in three days. Lavender buds keep their scent for years and years. When you tire of your dried bouquet you can strip the buds off the stems and make a sachet. If your sachet loses scent, give it a good pinch to release some of the oils that remain inside the buds.
How do You Care for Plants?
When you know a few tricks, lavender plant care is not difficult. Mid-eastern soils and climate conditions can provide a challenge to raising lavender so it’s good to give plants lots of room and good drainage. Lavender plants like full sun and need at least 50 percent sun daily. Do not over-water them as they like “their feet dry.” You can amend the soil with sand or pebbles for added drainage, but do not use mulch of any kind and do not mulch around the plants. Lavender likes a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.5. We also treat our plants twice a year with an all natural anti-fungal called Root Shield Plus every six months. Root Shield Plus can be purchased online. This treatment helps insulate the root system against the dreaded lavender killer, Phytophthora. The first year you plant the lavender, cut off the buds so the plant will bush out more quickly. By the third year you may have 1000 blooms per plant! Every year you must prune off about 1/3 of the entire lavender bush either in the fall (before November) or spring (by April 1st). Because we have a lot of plants we use a hedge-trimmer. But you can use scissors on your plants if they are few. Remember to trim so you keep a rounded shape. And don’t cut down into the woody part.
Your New Plants: These lavender plants will have quite an advanced root ball so once you plant them in the ground they will be ready to go. It’s advisable that you plant them at lease three feet apart, as when they mature in 3-4 years, they will need all that extra space. These plants come already treated with Root Shield Plus, so if you choose to continue with this treatment, you will do so every six months. See directions above for plant care.
Here in Virginia, depending on the variety, lavender blooms from early June through mid-July. When it’s time to cut your lavender it should ideally be done in the morning before 11 a.m. as the hot sun evaporates the oil in the buds. Blooms which are one-third to one-half open on a stem are best to cut for drying. Hang or lay flat your lavender bunches to dry in a dark, cool place and they will be finished drying in three days.