Monty Don warns viewers about overfeeding plants
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Lavender is a beautiful plant, coming in a range of pretty purple hues, and exuding a floral scent. This makes lavender one of the best plants for bees, attracting honey and bumblebees. With bees in decline, planting lavender and other insect-friendly plants can make your garden a bee haven.
Lavender comes in a range of varieties, such as English Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia), White Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia ‘Arctic Snow’) and French Lavender (Lavandula Stoechas).
You can find these at most garden centres, with lavender plants typically sold in containers ready for planting.
Some stores also sell lavender as plug plants in spring, which is cheaper but needs more care in the long run.
So if you want to get planting lavender, read on for some top tips.
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When to plant lavender
According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) advice on lavender states it best planted in April or May.
This is because in these months “the soil naturally warms up and when many fresh plants become available in garden centres.”
Avoid planting lavender in the winter months, as young plants are vulnerable to rotting in cold and wet soils.
Where to plant lavender
Often you’ll see lavender as a border plant, acting as a hedge or in containers.
There’s no right way out of these to plant lavender, with the plant thriving as long as it has lots of sun.
You will also need to ensure the soil is fast draining and out of the shade, as lavender won’t last long in damp, shaded or cold conditions.
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The RHS advises lavender “prefers poor, dry or moderately fertile soil, including chalky and alkaline soils.
“Lavender will not thrive in heavy clay soil or any soil that becomes waterlogged over winter.”
How to plant
Once you are sue you have the right conditions, dig over any free-draining soil and remove the weeds.
The RHS says: “If your soil is heavy, plant on a 20-30cm (8in-1ft) mound, ridge or in a raised bed where the roots will not sit in wet soil.”
- Plant the lavender as soon as possible after buying
- Space plants about 90cm (3ft) apart if growing in groups
- If planting a hedge, space plants 30cm (1ft) apart or 45cm (18in) for larger cultivars
- After planting, water regularly, especially in dry weather, for the first season
When it comes to watering your lavender plants, if they are newly planted you should make sure they are watered regularly during their first summer.
However, you will find the plant will become hardy once it has established itself.
This is because lavender is drought tolerant and so you won’t need to water as often – unless severe drought occurs.
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