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The Seed Program
Growing Hints

This is one of the many growing hints that are available as a bonus with a registered copy of The Seed Program.

Lavender

Lavender is a perennial aromatic herb whose foliage somewhat resembles rosemary. When mature, it bears sweetly scented purple flowers. Used widely for medicinal purposes in the past, it is now used primarily for its scent. The flowers are harvested for sachets or the oil is extracted from them for use in soap and perfumes. Lavender is also thought to repel moths and other insects.

Lavender is most often propagated by cuttings or by dividing a large plant. It can be grown from seed, but this takes patience as the plant grows slowly and will not bear a significant number of flowers for several years. The seeds of some strains of lavender do not breed true, so purchasing a plant for later propagation will help to insure that you end up with a superior set of plants.

Lavender plants to be started from seed are usually planted indoors, in order to give adequate protection to the small, slow growing seedlings. It can be planted or transplanted outdoors after the last frost. It performs best in somewhat dry, well drained soil of average or low fertility. A light mulch might be helpful for reducing weeding, but usually isn't necessary for the added moisture it provides. A mulch to cover the plant over winter is a very good idea, for lavender could easily be killed by a harsh winter if not protected.

Lavender flowers should be harvested when the plant is in full bloom. They should be tied in bunches and dried in a dark, warm place. The extraction of the scented oil from the flowers is a complex process that few home gardeners will want to attempt, but the dried flowers remain aromatic for quite some time and can be used in potpourris or tied in small fabric bags and placed in drawers or closets.

For more crops, more complete gardening information, a garden journal and a planting schedule you can customize for your region, purchase The Seed Program!

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