Lavender is a perennial bushy shrub growing 0,3 to 1,2m high. True lavender has a compact and rounded growth form. The aromatic evergreen leaves are completely opposite and up to 5cm long. Flowering occurs in the summer and flowers form interrupted spikes and have a very sweet fragrance.
LAVENDER – TEMPERATURE
The Lavender product can tolerate moderate frost and drought. Spike lavender cannot tolerate frost. All lavenders are sensitive to high humidity. High summer temperatures adversely affect oil quality.
Because there are such variable types of lavender, some grow well in different climatic zones from cold to subtropical. Different varieties should be tested to see which will grow best in each micro-climate.
LAVENDER – SOIL
Lavender requires well-drained light, sandy, or sandy loam, or gravelly soils nin full sun. Low- fertility soils are still suitable. Soil pH should be between 5,8 and 8,3. Too moist soils will cause poor plant growth, diseases or kill the plant.English lavenders prefer alkaline soils, whereas the lavandin varieties require slightly more acidic soils.
LAVENDER – PLANTING
The Lavender product is normally planted in row widths of 1,2 to 2,0m apart, with 30 to 60cm between plants. This gives a plant density of 8000 to 28000 plant per hectare. Spacing is done according to available moisture and species, and cultivar size as well as mechanical cultivation and harvesting.
Higher densities mean higher establishment costs but also higher early yields. Plants also tend to support each other, so are more stable and last longer. A good vigorous plantation should be ready for harvest in the second year. Lavender plants can last for 10 to 15 years or longer if managed correctly. Seedlings should be hardened off before being put into the land.
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