Lavender Climate and Soil Requirements and Preparation
Lavender Climate Requirements
Lavender needs at least 6-8 hours of daily sun exposure and prefers warm and moderately dry climates, mild winters and sunny summers. The plant originated from Mediterranean countries, where average temperatures of 68-86°F (20-30°C) during spring-early summer are common. Soil temperatures above 65°F (18°C) favor growth and regeneration after harvest. However, the plant can definitely tolerate lower temperatures as well. High humidity favors the development of fungal diseases, while extreme summer heat affects negatively the quality of products (floral stems, essential oil). It is necessary for all lavender growers to make an extensive research on varieties that produce well locally. A variety that thrives in Southern California is most probably unsuitable for Canada and vice versa. Lavender can also thrive in high altitudes (up to 5000 feet or 1500 meters) and inclined fields.
Lavender Soil Requirements and Preparation
Lavender plants can grow in all well-drained soils. They can withstand pH from 5,5 to 8. However, the best yields are often achieved in light and sandy soils with pH close to 7 and with very good drainage.
The first step towards effective soil preparation is the soil analysis and pH. The soil pH should be corrected to desired levels (6,8-7,5). Moreover, the soil analysis will reveal any nutrient deficiencies, so that the farmer can take corrective actions under the guidance of a licensed agronomist. In many cases, it is beneficial to add 8-10 tons of well-rotted manure per hectare and plow well before the planting of young lavender seedlings. In cases of severe nutrient deficiencies, farmers often apply soil fertilizer N-P-K 20-20-20 (400 lbs. or 180 kg per hectare) at the same time or a couple of weeks after planting and irrigate well the young seedlings. However, we must be careful when adding fertilizers to lavender farm. If the soil is too fertile and with high levels of nitrogen, the lavender plants will most probably produce thriving stems and leaves, but only a small number of flowers.
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Lavender Growing Conditions
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