Grosso Lavender Planting On Hillside
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Shannon
Posted on: March 03, 2011

I have a large order of 6500 Grosso lavender plugs coming in May. We are starting a lavender farm in >Virginia, USA.

I am wondering about the root depth of the plants. We are planting in rows on two hillsides. So there is fairly good drainage already. The top 8-10 inches of soil is a beautiful dark loam but below that is clay. I am going to disk hill the loam layer into approx 10 inch high beds for the length of each row. This will mean about a 16-18 inch dist from the base of the plant to where the clay layer starts. Do you think this depth is adequate to keep the roots out of the clay?

I know wet roots mean the death of lavender. I am trying to decide whether I need to trench out each row and fill with sand / or bury a drainage pipe before hilling the rows. Of course I don’t want to spend a lot of money on sand or pipe if you think the available depth of the hilled loam may be adequate.

I think just hilling the soil as you propose to do will be just fine. Only the winter worries me a bit because by making small hills the roots will cool down faster in the winter than if they were in level soil. Grosso lavender is hardy to zone 5 and if you live in northern Virginia you are in zone 6. The roots in the hills could experience as much cold as in flat zone 4 land, because roots in pots experience cold two zones colder than in ground plants in the same zone- your hill is almost as exposed as a pot. I would advise a winter mulch and a slight incline to the rows to stop water accumulating in the ditches during the winter freeze-up.

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