SGT Lavender
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Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

This is going to be my first gardening venture ever :shock: , so please excuse the rookie nature of this question.

I'm going to put in some lavender as an anniversary gift for my wife. She likes it and I think it's a hardy enough plant to survive my initial efforts.

I've read a bunch of directions/suggestions from various sources . I'm in zone 7a. I took notes, I'm pretty sure I'll be prepared to deal with my soil type, Ph, moisture, etc.

I haven't finally decided which variety I'm going to plant, but there's a lavender farm not too far from me in PA that does well with Grosso, so I'm leaning that direction.

Anyway, here's why I posted: When I first till/cultivate the area to prepare it, should I cut out all the sod first, or just till it under?

It seems to me that I should cut the sod out, but nothing I read says that explicitly.

Is that implied and I just didn't get the implication?

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applestar
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

I don't know what kind of tiller you have, but in believe it's not as easy as all that. So that alone might be reason to cut and lift the sod first.

When you till sod under, they grow back from the bits. So you need to repeat the process over several weeks until they are dead.

I have heavy acidic clay soil so when I planted my lavender, I removed the sod, then mixed some compost and topsoil from another part of the garden with added sand and limestone gravel to make a slightly raised mound on top of the clay and planted the lavender surrounded with paper mulch and and topped with marble chip mulch.
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SGT Lavender
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

Thanks for the info applestar.

SGT Lavender
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

applestar wrote:I don't know what kind of tiller you have, but in believe it's not as easy as all that. So that alone might be reason to cut and lift the sod first.

When you till sod under, they grow back from the bits. So you need to repeat the process over several weeks until they are dead.

I have heavy acidic clay soil so when I planted my lavender, I removed the sod, then mixed some compost and topsoil from another part of the garden with added sand and limestone gravel to make a slightly raised mound on top of the clay and planted the lavender surrounded with paper mulch and and topped with marble chip mulch.
What kind of sand if you don't mind my asking? I've been to a couple different local garden stores and have seen "play" sand. Nothing indicating gardening sand.

Will "play" sand work?

SGT Lavender
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

Oh yeah, as a follow up to question above; just reserved a sod cutter and tiller at the garden store for this coming weekend! I'm going to prep the bed before planting.

Wish me luck!

SGT Lavender
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

I picked up a Ryan Jr. Sod Cutter and Try Bilt tiller yesterday.

Not actual pictures, but these are the types:

Image

Image

Spent the better part of a day behind the Sod cutter yesterday. The first couple passes were rough as I figured out how to use it. It is self propelled, but certainly not self steering (which itself requires a considerable bit of effort).

The most difficult part so far has been dealing with the slope, which is considerable (+35%) so I walked the cutter up to the top side (i.e., did not cut going up hill) and let gravity do the work cutting down hill).

I have the machines rented until Monday morning, so I'm going to carb up at breakfast this morning and have it.

I'm doing new stuff, operating machines I've never used before. It's especially satisyfing when I cut a long "clean" row that I can just roll up like a carpet.

In short, I'm having fun breaking a sweat.

(Where's that sun screen?).

SGT Lavender
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

SGT Lavender wrote:
applestar wrote:I don't know what kind of tiller you have, but in believe it's not as easy as all that. So that alone might be reason to cut and lift the sod first.

When you till sod under, they grow back from the bits. So you need to repeat the process over several weeks until they are dead.

I have heavy acidic clay soil so when I planted my lavender, I removed the sod, then mixed some compost and topsoil from another part of the garden with added sand and limestone gravel to make a slightly raised mound on top of the clay and planted the lavender surrounded with paper mulch and and topped with marble chip mulch.
What kind of sand if you don't mind my asking? I've been to a couple different local garden stores and have seen "play" sand. Nothing indicating gardening sand.

Will "play" sand work?
Can somebody help me out with this?


Is "play" sand okay?

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applestar
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

I'm sorry I missed your question the first time.

The sand that worked best for me is the patio paver underlayment. There is a coarser type "Phase 1" or "Stage 1" or something similar and then there is a finer type "Phase 2" --you get the idea-- that is used both immediately under the bricks and for brushing in between instead of mortar. I believe. I used them both in ratio of something like two of the coarser and one of the finer. I also incorporated some of the smallest marble chip gravel since marble is limestone.

For good drainage, you want an aggregate of different size particles.
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SGT Lavender
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

applestar wrote:I'm sorry I missed your question the first time.

The sand that worked best for me is the patio paver underlayment. There is a coarser type "Phase 1" or "Stage 1" or something similar and then there is a finer type "Phase 2" --you get the idea-- that is used both immediately under the bricks and for brushing in between instead of mortar. I believe. I used them both in ratio of something like two of the coarser and one of the finer. I also incorporated some of the smallest marble chip gravel since marble is limestone.

For good drainage, you want an aggregate of different size particles.
No worries, thanks for the info!

imafan26
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

I thought the type of sand for gardens was called sharp sand or builders' sand?

Lavender likes well drained soil. I could not find anything resembling sharp sand here, and you gotta be careful not to get beach sand. I can get a lot of cinder, so I added cinder to my soil and my lavender is planted in my front yard which has a slight slope down to the street.

It does not like a lot of fertilizer so some compost added to the mix made it a little more alkaline and helped to helped to hold soil moisture since It doesn't get watered often. I use a drip system. When it rains a lot the leaves of lavender will turn black and rot.

Grosso is a very fragrant variety. It does not bloom all year.

Most of the lavenders are seasonal bloomers with the exception of l.multifida which will be in bloom most of the year for me and can grow in Zone 10 where I live but it is not as fragrant.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

SGT Lavender
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

Holy moley, that was an under-taking.

I cut out the sod on a 30'x100' bed (in for a penny, in for a pound!). The slope is greater than 35%, probably closer to 45. You can see a good representation if you compare the back wall of the house to the ground that touches against it.

Anyway, I discovered a lucky break. Our contractor buried a lot of excavated rock from the foundation he dug for our addition in the place I cut out for the bed.

It was hell getting through it with a sod cutter, but I think it'll be just what the doctor ordered as a start for lavender.


Image

Image

Vera_Central_ID
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

I think it all depends of the type of grass on whether or not it sprouts from pieces. I have made several beds by tilling, but much of the time I just cut, lift and turn it over with a shovel.
Re: 'Grosso' or any other Lavender.....they DO repeat bloom if wands are cut back into the foliage while still in bud and not gone too seed.

Enjoy your Lavender :)

SGT Lavender
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

So, I'm still waiting for my plants to be delivered.... :|

I did a soil sample with one of these:



Image


The Ph was 6.7.

I looked at a couple of lavender farm sites one said a ph of 7 to 8 was best and the other said 6.5 to 7.5.

I bought some lime; should i put put some in there or is 6.7 "good enough"?

I bought Grosso, if that makes any difference.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

I would add the lime; even though your lavender would survive without it, it will probably thrive more with it.
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evtubbergh
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

Wow, you don't do things in half-measures do you? When I read the first post I thought a few holes and some pretty plants. Are you starting a lavender farm?

SGT Lavender
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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

evtubbergh wrote:Wow, you don't do things in half-measures do you? When I read the first post I thought a few holes and some pretty plants. Are you starting a lavender farm?
Ha! :D

I'm actually considering it. At least enough to get tax consideration. That's a bit off though.

I think I better learn my way around a bag of manure and spade before I do anything grand.

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Re: Rookie going to plant lavender; use a sod cutter first?

So, the plants were delivered late this afternoon. They are still itty-bitty, but wow, you can really smell them (Grosso).

I managed to get a row in (31 total) before I had to make concessions to the clock. I did so heeding the good advice I got here and with some sources in this zone.

It was very foggy here today, which is unusual. I was concerned in might rain, but about my 3rd plant in, the fog gradually dissipated and we ended the day with some unexpected sunshine. I put the last one in the row I finished today around 6PM, and the sun was still going strong.

I'll be back at it tomorrow and hopefully get the rest of them in. :D

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