Sunday, September 18, 2016

Lavender Life is Hope for Fall

Lavandula angustifolia "Hidcote Blue"
Lavender does fairly well here in the Central San Joaquin Valley of California.  However, like most of us, its production ceases when the weather gets mega hot. During production, stems can be cut for drying.  I use twine to tie a bouquet then wrap it in newspaper to protect it from dust and bugs.  Then, the package is hung up-side-down in a dry location like the shed until the bouquets are stiff and dry. The dried lavender can then be used in floral arrangements, potpourri for sachets, cooking (herbes de provence or alone) or flea repellent.

Once an arrangement has ended its usefulness as an arrangement, crush that dude to pieces and save in a paper bag.  Sprinkle some of that on carpets before vacuuming.  The carpet is freshened and so is the vacuum bag/canister.  Rub it on your pet before brushing.  The oils smell great to us while the fleas are disgusted.

Now that the heat is on it's way out (hopefully), it is a good time to give lavender a haircut.  Prune off all dead/spent twigs.  Check soil and irrigation.  Spray the plant with a blast from the hose to shake off the summer dust.  I only feed lavender infrequently and when I do it's minimal but organic.  Any lavender that didn't make it through the summer, pitch it in the compost heap and replace. 

I've tried propagating lavender by layering and with seeds.  Buying a new, healthy plant from the nursery is easier and gives instant gratification.  Plus, you're able to see the blossom and determine if it's the right fit for your needs.

1 comment:

David said...

Maybelline, I've never tried to grow lavender but I do like the fragrance of it. I didn't know that it was a flea repellent. Nature has a remedy for all things, don't you think? If only we would take advantage of the ways of nature. Yeah, but then there's no money to be made it that.

I'm glad to see that you are still working in a gardening way and surviving the heat. It was a hot one this year for Nebraska as well. I've never seen so many above 90 degree days in one summer before. I know your chuckling because it's the norm there but not so much here in Nebraska. The humidity was saturating at 85 or above all summer. Having both humidity and temperature in the 90 range will make for gardening even in the early mornings very sweaty.

Have a great lavender day.