Sowing Lavender Seeding Rate and Plant Population

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Sowing Lavender, Seeding Rate and Plant Population

We can start lavender plants from seeds or cuttings. There are pros and cons in each method. If you plan to cultivate lavender at a large scale, starting plants from seeds costs much less than buying tens of thousands of fresh stems. However, it is a time consuming method that has a certain degree of risk, and needs high quality management in order to ensure plant uniformity. On the other hand, starting the plants from cuttings definitely costs more, but you can have true to type plants and be ready to plant them in the field in less time.

Growing Lavender from Seeds

On average, 1 oz. of lavender seed contains 31.000 lavender seeds (1100 seeds per 1 gr.). When we grow lavender from seed, we must have in mind that only one out of four to five seeds will produce a thriving plant which will be finally transplanted outdoors. We need 1,7 oz. of lavender seed (50 gr) for 10000 plants.  Consequently, we need 1-2 oz. (28-56 gr) of seeds per seedbed of 0,1 hectare (1000 m2). If you use small individual pots, be sure to put at least 3-4 lavender seeds per pot.

We start with sowing the seeds indoors during the end of winter. It is beneficial to fill the seedbed or the pots with a good seed starting potting mix. We fill a container with the potting mix and the mixture of seeds. Many lavender farmers mix the seeds with building sand. We just place the seed mix in the surface of the soil and we cover lightly with soil. Sowing must take place in the surface. If we plant lavender seeds 2 inches (5 cm) deep, most probably they will not germinate. The seeds need several hours of sunlight to germinate, so the seedbeds or the pots must be placed right next to a window with sunlight exposure or under a glass ceiling. The temperature indoors should be close to 70°F (20°C). However, when germination is low 3 weeks after sowing, you can the lower temperature to 40-50oF (5-10oC) for 1 week. We irrigate lightly, as excessive moisture will let fungi grow and destroy the seeds. The germination of seeds can last from 2 weeks up to a month. It is necessary to have enough direct sunlight or artificial light during this period. We transplant only when the plants have developed a solid root system.

Lavender Planting Distances and Population

Regardless of whether we started the plants from seeds or cuttings, we normally arrange the plants inside the row at a distance of 16-25 inches (40-65 cm), depending on the variety of the plant. The distance between rows ranges from 47 to 59 inches (120 to 150 cm). On average, we have 18.000 to 22.000 lavender plants per hectare, or 8.000 lavender plants per acre. As a rule of thumb, lavender plants in high altitudes are planted more densely, so that they can be protected from wind. In humid conditions, it is better to leave greater distances between plants in the row and between the rows, so as to increase air circulation and prevent the spread of fungal diseases.

You can enrich this article by leaving a comment or photo of your lavender sowing techniques, seeding rate and plant population. 

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