Grown for its fragrant flowers and evergreen foliage, lavender is a small ornamental shrub that also offers many uses as an herb. The plant produces small purple blooms along its flower spikes in early summer, and its silver-green foliage adds color to the garden year-round. Lavender is planted out to the garden in fall from seedlings. Fall planting gives the lavender time to establish in the garden, so it is ready to bloom the following spring and summer.
Lay a 2-inch layer of compost over a well-drained, full-sun garden bed. Till the compost into the top 8 inches of soil, where it aids drainage and improves the soil quality for the lavender plants.
Water the lavender in its nursery pot until the excess moisture drains from the bottom of the pot. Leave the lavender to sit for one hour; this allows the moisture to evenly penetrate the soil and makes pot removal easier.
Dig a planting hole as deep as the nursery pot and slightly larger. Space planting holes 2 to 3 feet apart for standard lavender varieties or up to 6 feet apart for large varieties.
Squeeze the pot to loosen the root ball from the sides of the pot. Grasp the plant loosely near the base, and pull the pot off.
Set the lavender in the planting hole so it is at the same depth it was in its pot. Fill in around it with soil, and lightly firm it into place with your hands.
Water lavender immediately after planting until the soil feels moist at a 6-inch depth when you stick your finger into it. Water it twice a week in this way for the first year after planting to help the lavender get established. Once established, water every three weeks.
Spread a 2-inch layer of gravel mulch around the lavender plants. Mulching preserves soil moisture while preventing weed growth.