Hand cultivating for lavender plants is an excellent workout! Our record number of lavender plants in the ground in one hour …. drum roll please….384! That’s 384 lavender plants in the ground in just one hour. OK, maybe not such a big deal if you have a machine to do all the work for you. We had 5 adults and 7 kids out there planting with us. And the two Mormon missionaries were the BOM! (No pun intended.)
The moment of truth has arrived… how did the plants survive the winter? Last year we lost about 25% of the lavender plants in the field and just about every single plant had suffered major winter kill. The field looked pathetic. We decided to give it time, and thankfully, we did. Our patience and AJ’s optimism paid off, as the plants began to develop tiny sprouts of green growth at the base of what looked to be completely dead lavender plants.
Two things got us last year… 1st, mice–this we hadn’t anticipated at all. I suppose it was much warmer under the cover and winter was so bad they couldn’t find anything to eat so they ate the lavender. (Most animals do not like the taste of lavender–our experience shows otherwise). And 2nd, as the temps rose in spring we didn’t want the plants to cook under the cover, so what did we do? We uncovered the plants. Well, in our zone the last day of frost is late may and sure enough we got hit with a ‘surprise’ freezing rainstorm. I still remember hearing the pinging sounds of ice outside late that evening. We quickly put on our raincoats and covered up the plants. Hopefully this year we are a little more prepared for those unanticipated ice storms.
So, how did we fare this winter? I’m happy to report that the lavender plants look amazing! There are very few plants that look overly stressed or damaged. Most are already greening up. (They tend to be more grey in color when they are dormant.) We are looking forward to a vibrant purple season!!
End of February meltdown. Went out to check on the bees. The Warre hive has a flurry of activity. Not sure what is going on in the Langstroth hive. Pressed my ear against the yellow langstroth and can hear lots of buzzing in there. They have an entire box of untouched honey on top of it. Chose not to open up either of the hives so as not to disturb the balance within the hive. Placed a tray of syrup outside on a block away from each of the hives to ensure a food source and to minimize robbing.