Welcome to my website. Its about growing fresh herbs amongst my vegetables and fruit trees and their use in the kitchen. The presence of these herbs benefits the other edible plants by attracting pollinators and helping to repel pests. They add beauty and pleasant aromas to my garden with their attractive foliage and flowers...............John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Latest Update 25th July 2016.
I grow lavender because its a beautiful plant with masses of fragrant purple flowers, and it attracts predatory insects keeping pests under control on the plant and helps control them in the nearby vegetable beds.
Lavender prospers in Melbourne's hot dry summers, and It hums with busy insects when its sunny, especially the bees
Its one of the easiest of plants to propagate from cuttings, and I regularly renew them when they get too big and cumbersome.
The picture above taken in mid winter is one of my French Lavender plants. It flowers all year round and grows more vigorously than my English Lavender.
They prefer sandy soil but grow well in most soils.
They grow well in hot dry conditions.
Lavenders need well drained soil and full sun.
If they are grown in shade they will grow out
towards the sunlight.
Spring, clear a space for Lavender by removing old mulch, dead leaves
and unwanted organic material. Choose a place where it has not been
grown for several years.
Apply a 60mm thick top dressing of home made compost. Cover with organic straw mulch.
Lavender is a perennial plant, and I propogate it from softwood cuttings.
Most people advise taking cuttings as new growth begins to appear in spring, but my propagator will grow new cuttings most times of the year, and I usually take cuttings in late autumn so I can plant them out in spring.
Choose your strongest most vigorous plant as a source of cuttings.
cuttings from new shoots about 100mm long in spring. Cut the shoot
just below a node and remove the lower leaves leaving one pair of full
size leaves and the new shoot in place. Plant the cuttings about 60mm deep in a propagator.
The propagator's microbial activity and constant soil moisture stimulates root growth, so I don't use rooting powder.
Once the plant starts to grow vigorously, relocate it in the prepared soil in your herb bed.
If left to
its own devices a Lavender plant will become woody after a couple of
years, however, to
prevent this you should prune the plant regularly in spring before new
growth starts and again in late summer after flowers dry out. A well
maintained lavender plant will last at least 5 years before it needs to
be replaced.See demo.
Harvesting and Storage.
grow lavender for their attractive foliage and flowers as bedding
plants in the garden. I don't usually harvest the flowers, but they
make beautiful fragrant cut flowers either in bloom or after they have
gone to seed.
I grow my herbs in a drip irrigated raised bed, and run copper tape around it 100mm off the ground.
Copper tape is a
very effective barrier as the slugs and snails get a small electric
shock when they come into contact with it, and they retreat to
less hostile surroundings.
I get one or two juvenile snails in my raised beds. I believe they get
into the bed as eggs though the compost heap. When this happens, I use
a few iron chelate snail baits to round them up. These bates are
approved for use in organic gardens, but I only use the bare minimum to
do the job.