Tips for growing Organic Lavender in containers

Lavender is lovely, fragrant and useful. You can successfully grow it in containers and enjoy its benefits all year. However; you must be careful and follow some basic guidelines. Many of the concepts expressed on our I love home farming web page http://www.mcewenfarms.com/home-farm-tips apply to Lavender. It is the correct combination of soil, container, watering, sunlight and caring that will produce the best results.

Here are some tips for successfully growing container Lavender:

Propagation

I would recommend that you start off by using small plants purchased from your local garden shop or ordered on line. You can self germinate the seeds, but it can be quite a challenge. It is also helps to select varieties of Lavender the appropriate for container gardening. Here are few that will work well:

Nana Alba (L. angustifolia)
Irene Doyle (L. angustifolia)
Blue Cushion (L. angustifolia)
Lavenite Petite (L. angustifolia)

Container

Chose a container that is around 2.5 inches larger in diameter than the root ball. If you use the proper soil, you can use a larger container to allow for more growth without having to transplant your Lavender. See http://www.mcewenfarms.com/home-farm-tips for general container guidelines. The pottery in the McEwen Farms Home Farm starter kit is optimized for organic container gardening.

Soil and Watering

You should use high quality soil that drains well while maintaining the appropriate amount of moisture. Lavender originates in the Mediterranean and does not require a great deal of water. Over watering will lead to root rot. I do not believe in using peat, vermiculite , or pumice. If you mix about 1/8 sand with the Organic Mechanics Potting Soil provided in our Home Farm Starter Kit and mix in a few crushed egg shells, your lavender will grow well. When you add the mixture to the pottery, place an inch of gravel at the bottom of the pot.

Let the soil dry out before watering. However, do not let the leaves wilt. Water until you see it draining into the plate at the bottom of the pot.  Wait until the soil is dry to water again. ALWAYS LISTEN TO THE PLANT, IT WILL TELL YOU WHEN TO WATER. Using Biodynamic gardening techniques will improve your ability to understand your Lavender.

Sunshine

Lavender loves sunshine. It requires around 8 hours a day. It also loves heat. As winter approaches you can bring the Lavender inside and place it on a windowsill.

Biodynamic Sprays

Applying the Biodynamic Sprays included in the Home Farms starter kit will improve the overall quality of your lavender. It helps strengthen is immune system and enables it to better utilize the subtle cosmic energies a plant needs to maximize its potential. The best results are obtainable when coordinating the planting, harvesting and spraying with the Biodynamic calendar included on our site http://www.mcewenfarms.com/biodynamic-planting-calander-0.

Traditional Use

I love using Dr Culpeper,s Complete Herbal to find out the traditional uses of most western herbs. It was written around 1653 for the use of English doctors and the common man.  Dr Culpeper used lavender to cure headaches, palsy, dropsy, cramps and apoplexy. You can find an online version of his book here http://www.bibliomania.com/2/1/66/113/frameset.html.