Lavender

{Lavandula angustifolia,  L.  x intermedia}

Market: Lavender is 9,000 Ha worldwide.

Market Products: Fresh flower, dried flower, potted plants, and oil {1.3% volatile oil or higher with good color is desired}

Growing Culture: Exposure–full sun, Soil–light, well drained, deep, not too rich, pH 6.5–7.5

Only English types are available in seed form. Direct seeding not recommended. Germination is–15-30 days.

Planting rate: 3-6 Kg per Ha. Germination of English types is frequently below 50 %; *scarification of seed or *freezing of seed-flat is recommended to improve germination.

Direct seeded seed-flat to finished plug 12-16 weeks in nursery before transplanting to field.

Field Spacing: 60-120cm row centers, 25-120cm plant to plant.

Production Value: Dry Flower 500-1500/Kg per Ha {years 2-5},

Oil 8-32/Kg per Ha {years 2-5}.

Nursery plugs to finished saleable potted plants 20-26 weeks.

Pests/Diseases: mealybug, whitefly, spider mite, scale, caterpillar, nematode, phoma scab, septoria leaf spot, armillaria root rot.

When grown from seed, some English lavender cultivars are not 100% true to type, some variability in size and flowering characteristics is to be expected.

*Seed Scarification:

Seed scarification involves breaking, scratching, or softening of the seed coat so that water can enter and begin the germination process. There are several methods of scarifying seeds. In acid scarification, seeds are put in a glass container and covered with concentrated sulfuric acid. Seeds are then gently stirred and allowed to soak from 10 minutes to several hours depending on the hardness of the seed coat. When the seed coat has become thin, the seeds can be removed, washed, and planted. Another scarification method is mechanical. Seeds are filed with a metal file, rubbed with sandpaper, or cracked with a hammer to weaken the seed coat. Hot water scarification involves putting the seed into hot water (170° to 212°F); the seeds are allowed to soak in the water as it cools from 12 to 24 hours and then planted. A fourth method is one of warm moist scarification. In this case, seeds are stored in non-sterile warm damp containers where the seed coat will be broken down by decay over several months.

*Artificial Vernilization:

In certain species and cultivars, freezing of seedflats are required to break dormancy. Once planted and ready, seed-trays are placed in a wet-box with relative humidity at exactly 32°F for duration of no more and no less then 72 hours to help improve seed germination.