A few months ago, I did quite a bit of research in preparation for our first try at lavender propagation. Since then, we’ve been working on other projects (okay, mostly just endless weeding and mowing) and waiting for enough new growth on the plants to take cuttings. Two weekends ago, I decided that we’d better get focused on the project so last weekend, I showed up with all of my supplies to find that one of the varieties was already in BLOOM!
So, I interrupt this story about propagation to tell you – WE HAVE OUR FIRST BLOOMS OF THE SEASON! The Folgate to be specific – and it’s casting a nice purple haze over the front field.
That being said, I wasn’t counting on blooms yet so I had to do a little more hunting around in the plants to find decent chunks of growth without long bloom stalks on them already. I think I would have been in trouble if I’d waited another week. So, mental note for next year – pay attention to the new growth in early April!
I collected my cuttings – 72 Grosso and 72 Folgate – into plastic bags so they kept a bit of moisture as I worked, and then went to the makeshift workbench I’d assembled in the shade of an oak tree. After looking at our options, I opted for these Jiffy pot seed starting kits – they’re the same size as the heat mats I already have and two of them fit side by side under one long grow light. Each one is $5 – and I bought the soil-less mix for $5 to fill them. If we start doing this in any kind of volume in the future, we’ll have to explore other options, but all of my supplies for nearly 150 potential new plants cost less than $30 – not bad.
Once I had my cuttings, I performed a bit of plant surgery, carefully removing the lower set of leaves, dipping it into rooting hormone and placing it into little holes I’d poked in the soil. By the time I’d finished the two flats, the little cuttings were starting to wilt so I quickly put their lids on and took them home to their heat mats and grow lights in my garage.
Three days later, they are looking very happy and, fingers crossed, they should take root in 4-6 weeks. By the way – I decided to pick up a a reference book, The American Horticultural Society’s Plant Propagation. I highly recommend it – from every kind of propagation to grafting and seed starting, along with an index of plants with specific information for each, it will be a great guide to have on hand for many years.
So, wish us luck! And, let us know if you’d like to buy any lavender – we’re about to have plenty!