Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Lavender is Waking Up!

We had beautiful weather this past weekend and I spent a lot of it out in my lavender field.  I have over 300 plants in our little lavender farm.  This will be our third harvest.  The plants will be ready to harvest in July.  I did a LOT of blogging about lavender last July and my readers seemed to enjoy it.  This year, I thought it would be fun if I took photos in the field every weekend and posted them on the blog.  Over on the sidebar, I'll have the most recent view. You can watch it grow and bloom along with me... but you don't have to do any of the work- just enjoy the view!
The black stuff is landscape fabric.  It's a mesh that allows water and air to circulate but won't let the weeds come up.  It doesn't look great, but it saves me a bazillion hours of weeding.  It also allows me to keep a weed-free field without chemicals.

This past weekend, I pulled the weeds that were around the base of the plants, and I gave them a little haircut.  I just trimmed a little- shaping them and removing any stray sprigs.  It's important to keep lavender in a nicely shaped ball.  One of the most common questions about lavender is why it gets "leggy" and woody.  You have to harvest the lavender (either while it's in bloom or after it's done), and keep the plant groomed into a nice "ball".  If you don't, it will send off woody shoots that can't be neatly trimmed.  If you cut that woody growth, you just get a hole, and if you don't cut it, the plant takes on a weird shape.  And on top of that, you don't get as many blooms.  Some people prune in the spring, some in the fall.  Actually, I like to do it a little earlier but we've had a chilly spring.  If you have a scruffy-looking, leggy lavender plant, just tell it you're sorry, dig it up and toss it.  This is a great time to plant a nice new little lavender plant.  For tips on planting, look back at my posts from last July.

I'll be shipping fresh bundles anywhere in the US in July (sorry no international sales of fresh lavender).  I sell fresh lavender in July and dried lavender buds and other lavender products all year on the Alderwood Quilts website.

14 comments:

Bev C said...

Your lavender looks lovely, I can smell it from here. Happy days.
Bev.xoxo

Shevvy said...

I adore lavender. You have a dream job, lavender and fabric shop. Great combination! I'm not jealous.... much ;)

Linda said...

Thanks for the tips. I will be sure to give mine a haircut.

Barb said...

Wow, you are industrious....

Maggey and Jim said...

Thanks for the growing tips. I have had many plants but nothing like those? My daughters plant did just what you said, got way too woody and now she has to toss.Will be checking that site in later days..
Maggey

Melinda said...

It will be fun watching the lavender grow along with you. Can't wait until harvest so I can order some.

soggibottom said...

I am never envious of anyone.


O.k. Maybe someone who has a Lavender field !
x x x

Judy S. said...

Thanks for the lavender info. I had no idea you were selling it and will remember that.....

Joanne said...

Thanks for sharing. The last time I saw lavender fields the smell was amazing. It is too cold where I live to grow lavender, so I will enjoy seeing yours! ♥

ByTheSea said...

WOW I had no idea... I am going to have to pull mine and plant more.. bummer. Thank you for the tips.

Mary Ann said...

Ah, so that's what I'm doing wrong!! The trimming part after the blooming!
Your lavender looks so lovely!
What a wonderful business you have!
I really enjoyed reading your blog!
All the best!

Colleen said...

love your lavender. I am growing some from seed. Any tips? I have them in peat pots but they don't seem to be getting any taller.

Sue said...

Bev- It doesn't smell very strong now, but it will when it's in bloom!

Shevvy- You won't be jealous when you think about me out there having to harvest and deal with over a thousand bundles of lavender!

Linda- Look at my posts from last July- lots of tips on pruning.

Barb- Industrious.... or crazy!

Maggey-Gotta prune em'!

Melinda- I'll be sure to let my blog buddies know when I'm ready to ship fresh bundles.

Colleen- I've never grown lavender from seed. Maybe YOU can give ME some tips!

Diane H said...

Thanks for this, Sue. I look forward to following along and doing the right things now with my plants.