Lavender pruning in New Zealand
It is May and time to put the lavender to bed for the winter.
That is the real end of the lavender season for me, no more photos of cool colours of the lavender stems shining in the sun. No more webs spread over the lavender tips, I’m sure the wee spiders enjoy morning sunbathing, with the warmth melting the dew on their webs. No more dogs jumping higher to get over the stems, one jump, two jump, three jump and so on, over and over, round and round until they’re exhausted. They will still jump over and over but just not so high.
Nope - all gone now until late Spring.
In the beginning of our lavender adventure, the lavender was pruned with a hedge trimmer. Timing – about eight hours. It was a big job and back-breaking for the “muscle”, even at his “tender” age, eleven years ago when we moved to Carterton. Stu has pruned the lavender the same way, year after year, until we bought the harvester four years ago.
Now he uses the harvester for pruning as well as harvesting, a great gadget. He tilts the cutter on an angle and goes up one side of a row and then down the other side of the row until all the rows are completed. He then straightens the cutter and runs over the top of each row until thirteen rows are done, lucky for some. Timing - about four hours.
He had a lovely Autumn day for pruning, which I’m sure made it more bearable, out in the lovely warm fresh air, saying goodbye to the lavender for now.
When pruning lavender, it is important to prune every year, otherwise you’ll have an out of control mess on your hands. Let your lavender bush get to the size of what you’d like it be, going forward, giving it a light prune yearly. Then continue to prune each year, back down the size of your preferred height, without cutting down into the woody section of the bush. Done yearly, your lavender will spring forward each year and give you an amazing display of colour, attracting all the bees to your space.
Lavender pretty much looks after itself as long as you don’t overwater it, then you’re all set to go.
Shortly, we will do a soil test to check the PH level, if it is too low we will get the lime man to visit to spread lime over the paddock. Lavender PH should be around 6.5-7.5, pretty much neutral.
That’s all you need to know about pruning and caring for your lavender. Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. If there’s anything you know about lavender that we don’t (I’m sure there is), we’d love to hear from you by commenting in the Facebook link.
Flee, lavender lovers and buy your lavenders now, you won’t look back.
P.S. See the pictures on the facebook link for different pruning stages at Lavender Abbey.
Friday 17th of May 2019