Newly established plants (started from seeds or cuttings) need much more water than mature plants. Young plants need artificial water supply in order to develop a strong root system. After 2 years, in many cases, mature plants rely solely on rainfalls, provided the annual precipitation exceeds 450 mm. However, this depends also on soil texture and humidity levels. Keep in mind that the lavender plant often suffers from root rot and fungal diseases favored by excessive water. Consequently, we must be cautious not to over irrigate. We must always let the soil dry between watering sessions.
In areas with no frequent rainfalls, most farmers irrigate the plants so as to avoid a water stress before and after the flowering period. Such a stress just before the flowering period will have negative effect in the final yield. Many farmers apply 3-4 irrigation sessions during summer months, in areas with hot summer and no rainfalls. In other cases, drip irrigation is applied and the plants are watered for 20 minutes once a week, especially 1-2 months before harvest (June-July in US). Most lavender growers irrigate through drop by drop technique down at the root. Spraying from overhead will most probably hurt the flowers and lower the quality of harvested product.
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Lavender Water Requirements
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