How to grow + enjoy amazing Ontario Lavender June 01 2017 by Holistic Aesthetician
Here at Province Apothecary we love lavender in all it’s forms, whether fresh from the garden or extracted and blended into our natural skincare products. Lavender season has officially begun in Ontario and we want to celebrate with a guide for enjoying this powerful Canadian-grown ingredient.
Lavender gives an extra special touch to your garden, with it’s soft and calming fragrance, and lush colours of pinks, pale purples and intense violets or blue hues. The experts over at Canadian Living have a detailed guide to growing Lavender, and we will sum up the key growing tips for you today!
How to Grow Lavender in Ontario
Easy on the Watering!
Don’t worry too much about watering, Lavender plants enjoy the dry soil & sunny areas, and even self-seed!
Lavender grows best in dry, arid environments, and does not need fertilizer or strong soil to grow. In Ontario it can get humid so there are some Lavender varieties that are a hybrid and bloom best in the Ontario climate. Also look for areas with good air flow to plant the lavender to offset the effects of high humidity.
It is recommended that the Lavender is planted in an area that get 6 or more hours of direct sun a day. Plant the lavender in areas that drain well, or in raised beds to ensure they aren’t sitting in water dense soil.
Lavender does not grow best in soil that is heavy or have clay in it, so if this is your only soil option in your garden, look to plant the Lavender in pots.
You want to keep your Lavenders soil at a pH of 6-8 to keep it happy and flourishing! No need to fertilize, and give it lots of space between plants, it likes to spread out.
When to plant?
If you want luscious blooms by summer, the best time to plant would be the mid to end of march in Ontario. It is recommended that you should plant new lavender no later than two months before the first expected frost!
Can you grow it inside?
Since it can be tricky with our climate in Ontario to grow Lavender, you can also plant the more compact lavender plants inside. These varieties will grow in pots, but make sure you create a dry soil mix, and can include rocks and sand to promote drainage.
How to Protect Lavender from the Cold Canadian Winters?
You can prune the Lavender into late September and the first week of October. If you want to keep the plants outside, you can cover the plant to keep it protected from the harsh winter winds and keep out the winter moisture. If you can, bring it inside for the winter and repot it into fresh soil come springtime.
How to Enjoy It!
Lavender can be dried and used for bath soaks, in the kitchen, and for fragrance.
Dry your lavender to keep it longer: Harvest it for drying once it has just a couple of open flowers on the stems. Cut them in the morning, once dew-free but not overly dry from the sun. Bunch the lavender, tie the ends, and hang upside down to dry. You want them to be dried in a dark space with good air-flow and no dust! Once dry, you can remove the flowers and use.
Sprinkle them in a bath, or make a natural bath salt soak with lavender.
You can put them in a small bag to naturally scent your linens.
In the Kitchen: You can make Lavender infused ice cubes, Lavender lemonade, Lavender Infused Sugar and so much more!
Lavender in Province Apothecary Products
If you aren’t up to growing lavender at home you can still enjoy some of the many benefits of lavender in our products!
Lavender is incorporated into many of our products, including our Invigorating + Balancing Toner and Aftershave Oil.
Our Invigorating and Balancing Toner features Lavender in its hydrosol form. A hydrosol is created during the essential oil distillation process. This means water and steam are swirled around the lavender plant, which captures steam and essential oils. The two are then separated and the lavender is skimmed off the top. The result is a pure lavender hydrosol, which is a gentler form than a lavender essential oil but includes all the same benefits. This means you can spray away in the summer season and it won’t over-dry your skin, like a pure essential oil might. We know toner has a negative connotation but think of ours as a balancing floral essence, with no drying alcohol or harmful ingredients! The toner is our go to product for summer, we like to keep one in our purse and spritz on the go to refresh, calm and soothe!
Our Aftershave Oil incorporates Lavender for it’s healing properties. This is a stronger form of lavender in a pure essential oil, blended into an oil base. It soothes cuts, broken skin, or irritation from shaving. We recommend you put on the Aftershave Oil on wet skin, to really allow it to absorb into the skin and you can use less product. After cleansing or fresh out of the shower is ideal. As summer is fast approaching, women can use the Aftershave Oil on freshly shaved skin to leave it feeling it’s best!