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When are my LAVENDAR seedlings ready to plant in the ground?

Hi all. I'm looking for gardening advice. I've tried Googling my specific query but can't find anything! In the spring, I germinated LAVENDAR seeds and a few weeks later (as they started to grow leaves) I pricked them out and put them into small pots, and 1-2 months later into slightly larger pots. They still look fairly fragile. When am I supposed to plant the LAVENDAR in the ground? All the advice says plant lavendar in the ground in the spring, which is when I was still germinating the seeds! Are you supposed to keep them in the shed/greenhouse over the winter until they get bigger/stronger - ready for planting NEXT spring? Many thanks in advance 🌱🌱🌱

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,143
    Next year. Harden them off in spring, then plant out in suitable conditions for them.

    I'd pinch those out too, so that they're better, bushier plants. They're a bit over potted, so watch the moisture levels. You don't want them rotting.   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thank you. How do I harden them - by putting them outside in the spring? Re over potting and moisture levels, do you mean they're likely to dry out or get too much water !and be water logged? Either way, what's the best way to water them? I currently water them from underneath by putting the pot in a few millimetres of water. Many thanks. 
  • SlipperyElmSlipperyElm Posts: 79
    edited 31 August
    LAVENDER  won't thank you for being too wet, it will rot.  You have potted them up into pots which are a bit too big for them, and this can lead to over-watering.   Water them from the top,  not the bottom,  for preference and don't overdo it. 

    I'd leave them in the greenhouse over winter and begin to harden them off next February/March, if there's no frost forecast.  Pop them outside during the day, and bring them in at night (  especially if frost is on the cards ) for a few weeks.  This will help acclimatize them to outside temperatures.

    Do as Fairygirl says, pinch out the growing tips with your finger and thumb to encourage more bushy growth and stop them looking so 'leggy'.  You can do this now.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,143
    Sorry - I went out  :)
    As @SlipperyElm says re pinching out and hardening off . :)
    They'll still  be 'soft' by next year, having been undercover, so you have to do it gradually. They're like annual plants in that sense, but they don't form big roots quickly because they're woody perennials,  and take longer to mature. 
    The compost will get wet and stay that way longer when it's a bigger pot, and your seedlings have tiny roots just now, so you need to avoid that. 
    Watering from below isn't necessary at this stage - it's far easier from above, and means you can judge the amount they get more easily, but let them get a bit drier before watering again. Don't feel that you have to water every day for instance - water when they're looking on the dry side, and the pot is lighter when you lift it.
    You'll get a feel for it as you go along :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Ah, great. Thank you all so much for your advice! I've moved them from the water and left them in a sunny spot to help them dry out a bit 👍

    I wasn't sure what "pinching out" meant but I've Google it and watched a short vide 👍

    In the winter I'll leave them in the shed - I don't have a greenhouse - I have a shed with a big work bench next to the window. However, it gets pretty cold in their in the autumn/winter. Is that s problem or will it help the lavendar seedlings harden (eventually)?? 

    Regards, Jago
  • You could perhaps get some horticultural frost protection fleece which would help them survive in a cold night in the shed, Jago.  Readily available online and in the big diy stores.  Worth having.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,143
    I think light might be a problem, so you'll need to just keep an eye on them, and turn them frequently, especially when they start into new growth in spring  :)

    Lavender is pretty tough, and it's wet cold that's worse for them than dry cold, so as long as you don't go mad with the water, they should be ok  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thank you Fairygirl 😀👍👍
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