How to grow lavender like a pro

Choosing plants: Look for cutting- grown, rather than seed-started, plants (most nurseries can provide this information), especially for hedges, since the ultimate size of seed-grown lavender can vary. Most kinds will thrive for about 12 years before they need replacing.

Planting: Lavender needs full sun and well-drained soil.

Watering: Irrigate deeply but infrequently, when the soil is almost dry. Plants require little or no fertilizer.

Pruning: Do this every year immediately after bloom. cut off faded flowers to keep new ones coming.

Harvesting: Snip stems when the bottom third of their blossoms are open; not all blooms are ready to cut at the same time. Remove leaves from the stems, gather stems in bunches, and secure each bundle with a rubber band. Use no more than 100 stems per bundle.