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| Growing Lavender in Florida |
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Donna
Posted on: September 09, 2007
I have a small 5 acre farm and would love to grow a field of lavender commercially, but is there a lavender that you would recommend for Florida. The soil is sandy and well drained and the acre I have selected would be full sun. Any advice would be appreciated.
I have written extensively on Lavender, especially how limited and competitive the markets are for the oil, flower petals, and as a crafted cottage industry. The only really successful Lavender farms in North America are primarily Bed-and-Breakfast situations, where the fields are mostly for show.
Floral trade is best, and probably the only place you can make enough to justify that crop. You should also diversify, probably in the same markets (more things to sell). Add as much value as you can on the farm prior to it being sold. I mention this because Florida is a primary floral buying region (and import).
I could think of at least a dozen suitable crops, with much higher yields in market returns. You might want to consider a farm plan, where I take advantage of your soils, machinery, and what might be available from a custom farming point of view. This is where you do not need to own the machinery needed to farm and harvest these crops, but someone in the neighborhood does.