Getting Started: Preparing the Lavender Beds

Preparing the lavender bedAfter traveling out to Squim, Washington for the Lavender Festival in July 2013, both Bob and I were convinced we wanted to try planting lavender in Brooklyn, Wisconsin. Now we needed to start planning for a spring planting. We had gathered a lot of great ideas from the farmers in Washington and from our visit to Lavender Hill Farm in upper Michigan. Most all those farmers used weed cloth to cover the fields. I really liked that idea just to keep the weeding to a minimum. Our fields have been maintained as grasslands so converting them over would be a challenge. From my gardening background I knew a lot of gardeners start their new garden space by covering the area with plastic or several layers of paper or cardboard. We decided to try this method on one of our new lavender beds.

It started with our friend Bret tilling up an area of our lawn (yey to reducing our mowing) last fall. We had some heavy duty black plastic that we covered the new planting bed. We weighted it down with bricks, boards, pallets and tires. The idea is that this would stay covered all winter and early spring to kill all the residual weeds and weed seeds.

The second bed was tilled in the spring. It went from grass to soil to covered in weed cloth in a matter of weeks. We will be evaluating these two methods of establishing our lavender beds along with assessing the various varieties of lavender we plant. All of this will be an experiment.