Now I’m extremely proud of our garden. We typically grow beans, cucumbers, zucchini and squash and does well. I extended the garden space available this year on the northernmost three feet of the garden. But this year our lavender and our hops are taking off.

Lavender:

Lavender loves heat and when it reflects through the walkways and paths, it helps the plant to grow. Grow lavenders near the garden path so that when you walk, it will brush up your feet and leave its aroma. Lavender growing along with garden path looks so vibrant. Lavender enhances the fall garden’s earth tones of bronze, orange, and gold with a touch of the ethereal, represented by perennial asters, fall crocuses, and aconites. This strong-scented lavender is a popular garden choice and a favorite in culinary and craft projects. Expect flowering late spring to early summer with a second re-bloom possible, especially if deadheaded. Sweet-smelling leaves provides year-long value. Cultivars include white, pink, and shades of purple and blue. Lavender forms harmonies with its cousins in the color spectrum: deep violet and magenta. Pale lavender creates soothing pastel scenarios when paired with white, pink, or pale yellow. Bluer shades of lavender shine when warmed by the company of complementary yellow-orange or peach. Planted near silver foliage, lavender looks luminous. You should pick your lavender when it has just opened fully and smells fragrant.

The newly opened blossoms and fragrance means it has a strong concentration of the essential oils and freshness you want to preserve. If you leave the flowers to bloom for longer, the dried bunches will be less potent. It’s best to harvest lavender in the early evening, after a dry day. Harvesting at this time will mean that you do not need to dry any rain or morning/evening dew before being able to dry the flowers. Annual pruning, preferably immediately after flowering, is essential to maintain the form of the bushes and to prevent woodiness which shortens their life. Lavenders can be expected to live for at least 12 – 15 years in the right conditions.

Hops:

It took less than a month from hop sprouts breaking ground to reaching the top of their ropes (15 feet) at the center peak. About 25 days which is a little bit faster than normal. We are currently having some hot and sunny days so the hops should fill out in no time. Hops can grow up to 12 inches a day. These rampant climbers need a sturdy trellis of appropriate height to accommodate their size. Its best to give your hops support, for hops plants using a building or a trellis for the hops to attach to is recommended. Hop vines grow upward on trellises and other vertical supports. Beer-making requires hops, and growers can sell hops for a profit or use it to make beer at home. Hops require moist soil, full sun or light shade and soil with balanced nutrient levels. When considering a trellis, take a look at the surrounding area. Is there a southern exposure? Because hops need a ton of sun! Is there 20+ feet of vertical space? Because these things grow best when given space and structure straight upwards. Do I want to put in the initial investment and care for these plants to use in brewing? It can be worthwhile to track growth and plan a beer around your crop. For our use, we plan on eventually using the hops for beer, but for the first few years as a beautiful addition to our garden, they have a very nice fragrance unto themselves.

 

hops-new london-ct
We typically grow beans, cucumbers, zucchini and squash and does well. I extended the garden space available this year for hops and lavender.

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