ATP Podcast #0.4: All About Lavender: Hot, Humid, Wet, Acid Soil

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ATP Podcast #0.4: All About Lavender

By dave
September 8, 2012

Join us for our 4th podcast, where we interview wholesale nursery grower and lavender expert, Cathy Slaughter from Gabriel Valley Farms.

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hazelnut
Sep 9, 2012 7:09 AM CST
Dave, thanks so much for asking the most insightful questions. Ive tried to grow lavender here in Alabama and just couldn't understand why the plants died. I did grow wonderful lavender beds with roses in California. Now I know exactly why: Santa Barbara has dry weather alkaline (gumbo) soil with a mean mean temperature of 70 degrees F year round. Central Alabama has hot humid weather, and acid soil, summers are wet and hot--100 degrees plus over the last three months.

The tip on anti-fungal drench was right on the money. After day after day of RAIN for months now (while the rest of the country is having drought) I think anti-fungal drench is just what I need to save some of my rotting plants.

And maybe I could try to build a raised bed with alkaline soil, with some sort of shelter to keep off the rain--just to grow lavender.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Sep 9, 2012 7:15 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Thanks hazelnut, I'm glad you liked this interview.

I'm currently building up two mounds in my zone 1 area, under the eaves so it actually won't get rained on, facing west. The material is about 1 part ground limestone, 2 parts compost and 1 part sand from the bottomland. I bet they will do well for my two lavender plants.

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Sep 9, 2012 7:34 AM CST
Sounds like a perfect location. Do you have acid soil?
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Sep 9, 2012 7:41 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Yes, our soil has a pH of 4.6. It's really my one big complaint about East Texas is the extreme acidity of its soil.

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Sep 9, 2012 9:40 AM CST
I always thought Texas was over-all like the soil described in the lavender podcast--semi desert. I guess there is a lot of variability. Also I learned from you about eaves--a good thing to have to protect your house from the weather.

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Sep 9, 2012 9:57 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Starting at I-35 the soil turns white, clay and alkaline and continues that way all the way west.

But the eastern part of the state gets into pine forest, sandy soil and highly acidic conditions, much more like what you see in the rest of the deep south.

I'll take photos of my lavender mounds when they are ready!

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Sep 9, 2012 6:56 PM CST
Yep. Acid sandy loam. Its great to dig, but not for growing lavender or rosemary. I noticed my iris are rotting too with all this rain. Looking forward to viewing your lavender mounds.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Sep 9, 2012 7:40 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Our rosemary does really well, actually. We grow it several hundred feet from our house, just at the edge of our orchard. It's in pure sand, gets ZERO irrigation, and just keeps going beautifully.

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Sep 10, 2012 4:44 PM CST
My new computer must be made in Texas, because it has an automatic link to Austin, Tx. weather on the front page. Austin is in the desert compared to cent. Alabama regarding rain fall.

I think my rosemary stays too wet to survive here. Ill have to think of a better way to grow it, to protect it from the rain and soggy soil.

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