My best luck with any lavenders is to leave them alone after planting. Plant in an elevated position, amend dirt with sand, and no supplemental watering. We tend to have very wet winters here, cold enough for the English, but winter rot will kill them quick. Had that happen before. You know, ph is something I never worry about unless I'm growing something like blueberries. The last time my yard soil was tested, it was 6.8. It's good for nearly everything I grow in the ground. Yes, the stoechas has actually do better here, but the english can be grown with very good drainage.