For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.
For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.
~ Edwin Way Teale
It is such joy to grow lavender. It is a relatively unfussy plant requiring a little care and yet gives back so much through the season; vibrant
colours, calming scents, paradise for the bees and butterflies and…..with its harvest during the warm summer breezes and the bright light of the late morning after the dew dries, you have a gift of dried lavender that only requires your imagination how to best use it for your continuing pleasure!
However, its that time of year when the days are shorter and the shadows longer
the tomatoes have ripened, the lavender is harvested and the plants still need to be tidied.
Have you harvested or trimmed your lavender? If not there is still time.
Preparations for Cold Weather Conditions.
A well-pruned plant is a happy, healthy plant. Plants not pruned properly will become leggy and prone to damage in the middle. Begin now by inspecting your plants and remove any dead, limp or unsightly growth. Though frost is still some time away, you do need to remove all the spent flower spikes and stems from your lavender plants before winter settles in. Trim lavender plants above where you see new growth, the greyish-green colour, leaving a couple of inches of green above the woody stems.
Pruning the plant into a ball will keep the foliage tight and compact while training the plant to take this shape; it will also stimulate early spring
growth. Lavender should be pruned at least once a year during their life span. We give our lavenders a slight trim after harvesting.
Before winter descends there is one other task; now is a good time to add some dolomitic lime to the soil to boost the pH. Lavender likes a pH
somewhere between 6.5 and 7.5 so do a soil test first to determine if you need it. Always follow application instructions on the container. I did some math and found that 1/4 to 1/2 cup worked into the soil around each plant will be enough to maintain healthy lavender.
Prune your plant in the fall to 2/3 of its size, leaving a couple of inches of green above the woody stems. This may seem severe, but they will respond very well to this pruning.
One last thought. Did you know that lavender can be as invigorating as it is calming? What a versatile herb!