Making the Most of a Winter Garden
Replacing a plant doesn’t mean buying a completely new one because if you are aware that a plant is nearing the end of its lifecycle you can take cuttings so the original remains.
There’s some debate as to whether strawberries are considered to be biannual or not, as they will fruit after the second year but many people consider the fruit to be of lesser quality. The preference is solely yours, however, it shouldn’t be too heart wrenching to move on. All strawberry plants have runners that you can either detach to make an individual plant or simply lay a stone on top of to encourage roots down into the soil. Then by the time you’re ready to dispose of the original plant, you have a replacement all ready to go.
We get a lot of requests asking about when to replace lavender and there is no definitive answer. French lavender will not last as long as English lavender due to its affinity to slightly warmer temperatures. There are so many varieties of French lavender that even if it does last it is hard not to resist adding a new colour every year!
Some English lavenders can last up to 20 years or more; however they must be pruned well, divided regularly and taken good care of. For example, in August they should be trimmed to 8 inches high in order to promote growth the following year.
Many people find that their plants can return woody after just five years, this may be due to soil type or simply down to the care. If you’ve had a bad show of lavender one summer it may be worth considering replacing it.
There are so many new lavenders now, that the task of buying new ones can actually be quite fun as you decide between different scents, heights and pastel hues knowing that every variety will add peace and tranquillity to the garden.
If money is tight, simply take cuttings and treat as you would any other woody perennial.