Our Farm & Lavender Market is open June and July every Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10 - 5. You can find Lockwood Lavender Farm products in these retail locations. Like us on Facebook and receive up to date information on what's happening on the farm. I'm sorry we do not sell Plants.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Preparing lavender for the winter months

I have been invited to speak at the New York State Fair again this year.  The subject of course: The Love of Lavender.  I will be going over the different varieties, how to grow, care and harvesting of the fragrant herb. 
After going over my notes and completing the harvesting of the last of our varieties (Buena Vista) I thought now would be a good time to go over pruning lavender again.

The number one question we receive is when and how to prune lavender.  It is now August and it's time to make sure the lavender plants are prepared for the winter. Trimming  and cutting out dead wood in early spring after the first flush of green will promote a healthy late spring/early summer flowering.  If you prune in the spring, those same plants will need to be pruned again in the fall and well before the risk of a frost. A shaping of the plants into smaller mounds will keep the plants compact for a cold winter and more able to be fully covered with snow. We are in growing zone 6 and if you are in a warmer area without severe winters, pruning may be done when it fits your schedule or when the flowering is complete.

Lavenders that are not kept well pruned will become very woody and spread over time. They will fall open and show a wide-open space in the middle with long woody stems. Not very visually pleasing. Sometimes you can severely trim back these plants in the spring so that new growth is forced from the bottom. Depending on how old the plant is, it may or may not work.

The key to pruning is to start when the plant is young and still in the pot. Pinch the new growth in order to encourage lateral branch formation and even cut off the flower buds in the first year to ensure a larger plant and abundant spikes for the following season (this is a primary consideration if you are a commercial grower).
REMEMBER:  The last cutting on sage, lavender, or oregano should be made late August or early September.

This Royal Velvet lavender plant was planted this spring and ready the winter snow.

I would love to meet you at the Fair.  You can visit me on Thursday, September 2nd at 1:00 and 3:00 in the Horticulture Building.

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