Monday, February 13, 2012

What a wild winter for growing lavender!

Finally, a few days below freezing with slight accumulating snow overnight. No sense worrying about the winter weather advisory. Oh no, we're going to freak out and drive like a 9" snow day. And it's not like anyone has to work tomorrow, it's Saturday. Well I do but that's because I'm addicted to the internet. Hey, what a great improvement to be in the winter season again. Winter Socks rock!

Spring, fall, winter, spring, ICE, spring, back to winter.....get how this lavender growing season has been? It just wasn't enough time in a deep icy deep freeze. The soil is well saturated, swamping some row ends while we we are fortunate to have little damage to our new lavender fields. More than an acre thrives of Grosso, Dutch and Province lavender varieties, escaping Mother Nature's teasing. Three separate soil amended plots have yielded only 8 dead lavender plants. Non-treated raised beds had 4 Grosso plants half wilted. These had dead sections turning grey, not crispy but wilted down stiff. We'll have these plants sent out for testing in spring. Our field with #57 gravel/sand has only only plant showing signs of wilting. And field with #8 gravel/sand has no death in the field.

I wonder how the hooped plants are doing under that plastic. I do worry humidity will be a concern as 100% humidity is present. Ventilation would be an added testing method next season when we re-cover these rows. Our research project ends in 2013, yet we will continue to provide feedback on our findings for 3-5 years when full maturity sets in and the difference from hooped and non-hooped show any significant improvement in growing methods long term.