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Friday, April 27 2012

 

My "bucket list" dream has been to ride an Andalusian horse through the lavender fields of Provence. Since I am highly unlikely to get to France anytime soon, and I've already got the horse,

I've decided to bring the lavender fields to me!  North and Central Texas is a good climate for lavender, so I've decided to start planting it on our ranch. Last month I set out $130 worth of little lavender plants of different varieties, in different spots. What makes it makes it, what doesn't will be cut from the team. 

I returned last week to find that wildflowers had exploded all over the ranch. The ranch was awash in bright colors and butterflies.

 

 Even weeds were beautiful when covered in butterflies.

 

I eagerly rushed out to examine my lavender.  Problem #1: finding it.

I hadn't counted on the abundant growth of grass and weeds in my absence. I couldn't even find many of the lavender plants that I'd carefully set along the red dirt road. 

Some I found, but they were struggling to compete. Problem #2: competetion

 

 It's alive . . . somewhere in there.

 But look at this one!

I had the best luck with the larger plants that were already established. Although they cost 3 times as much, they faired far better than the small plants.  Provence variety was the hands-down winner for the ranch too. 

 

When we move up there full time, and I'm better able to care for young plants, I can put in smaller plants and more varieties, but for now, I think my money is better spent putting in larger Provence plants.

What do you think?

 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:35 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Comments:
I've done a bunch of tree and shrub planting for riparian habitat, and my biggest problem was competition from the local "reed canary" grass, which is super dominent and invasive, especially along waterways. I finally bought about a half mile of landscape cloth, rototilled in a bunch of good horse manure compost, and planted locally grown 6-10 inch "plugs" rather than bare-root plants. Some I even heeled in near the house, and let grow a year or two before I transplanted them to where I wanted them. Here's one of the original blog posts from 2009: http://mountaintrailmusic.blogspot.com/2009/11/lost-in-woods.html Good luck!
Posted by EvenSong on 04/27/2012 - 03:11 PM
Re lavender easy to make cuttings. Also they get upset with wet feet (not well drained soil) put them on mound and a bit of bonemeal for food.. Don't overfeed they are hardy plants used to harsh coditions. You can use news paper at several sheets thick as weed collars if weed mat not easily got. Google lavender cuttings for u-tube instructions. Also growing conditions French and English. Many types to consider. http://www.lavenderenchantment.com/Growing/climate.htm
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust) lavender country on 04/27/2012 - 10:23 PM
Great job! Try planting in the late winter to avoid the hot windy part of the year, and check with us native nuts to see what lavender is suited to your particular zone so you don't have to do the work of seeing what is best suited. You have master gardeners in your following.
Posted by Sue on 04/30/2012 - 06:11 AM
Excellent! The property is NW of Ft Worth. Cold and dry. Red Sandy soil. I'm hesitant to add a lot to the soil that may attract hogs. The deer leave the lavender alone. The large plants did best. Provence beat out the other varities, but when I'm up there full time, I'll be able to experiement and take better care of the plants. Now they have to thrive with little or no care.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 04/30/2012 - 03:37 PM

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