Growing lavender plants

In this article we will try to briefly inform you about some niceties in the creation and cultivation of lavender plants

Place

The first decision you need to consider before starting to grow lavender is your choice of location. Lavender is a plant that needs light and warm temperatures, so it would be better if the field is located to the south, southeast or southwest, with permeable soil, protected from strong winds and currents. If there is constant slant, it should not be more than 10-15 degrees. It is important to note that the lavender plantation have long life, lasts between 15 to 25 years  and it is good to use your own property or lease for at least 15 year period.

Provide seedlings

Before preparing the soil and planting you need to take measures to secure the seedlings. This is usually done either through domestic production from existing plantations or contract, for future delivery (from 6 months to 1 year ahead), with producers of lavender seedlings.

Preparing the soil

Usually starts during the summer months and consists of cleaning the pitch, plowing and cultivation. One year before, the planting area should be left to fallow in terms of weed control and to create a well-prepared soil arable layer. First you need to plow depth – up to 45 cm, pre-fertilized with 3-4 tons of manure and if you do not have manure, use one with 30 kg phosphorus and 10 kg. nitrogen per acre., Sprayed with herbicides against different kind of weeds, then it is cultivated, and after the second plowing – up from 18 to 20 cm, leveling and marking prior to planting.

Planting

Planting is done by hand or by machine. The marking is done by furrow or long elastic rope. Planting is done in the fall between October 15 and November 15 and spring between Februaly 20 and 20 March. Plants are planted at a distance of 40 cm from each other and the dictance between rows must be 1.40 m. If the rows are straight, the machine work is easier . Cuttings are placed 2-3 cm deeper than the neck, they need to be well paved to earn air and increase the rate of capture.

Growing and attendance

Before the start of the vegetation period  damaged plants are replaced with new ones. Lavender is beginning to deliver optimal lavender blossom (400-650 kg / ha), respectively lavender oil (8-15kg./dka) from the third year onwards, the precise figure depends on the variety of lavender plants (Sevtopolis, Jubileina, etc.) and the amount of care provided for the plants. During the second year the yield is 20-25% of the optimum. In the first year, when the expected yield is negligible, blossoms are removed still in the initial stage of their development in terms of the better development of turfs. The action may need to be performed repeatedly. Chemical weed control is recommended for the first year, 4-5 treatments per line (12 to 18 cm deep and 20 cm from the ranks) and 2-3 inside the lines. In the second and third year the number of treatments for weed control are reduced and the fertilization actions increase, this is done with ammonium nitrate (25-30 kg / ha) and superphosphate (50 kg / ha usually done in the fall).

When the plant emerge from its zenith between the 9th and 10th year, measures are taken to rejuvenate its better productivity. It is done by removal of all above ground parts, 5 cm above of the soil surface. The plant regenerate from dormant buds in the neck and use the old root system and consequently production cycle begins again.

Harvesting lavender

Usually takes place in early July, when the weather is hot, dry and sunny, usually from 10 am to 4:00 pm. It is desirable that 75-100% of the flowers are blooming during that time. Lavender harvest is done manually or by machine, the latter is recommended after the  3-4th year when tufts are developed. Clusters are cut with stems – 10-12 cm, collected in trailers and are transported as quickly as possible for distillation, ie extraction of lavender oil.

Diseases and pests

A famous lavender diseases are leaf spots (Sartorial lavandulae Desm.), Representing rounded spots with red ring. From plant parasites biggest threats are kuskuta and forestgrasshoppers, gallic nematode and bubbly. They fight with them is the same as with other cultures.

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