Tag Archive | irrigation

Lavender going in

lavender planting 0402613TA-DA! Here they are. The first 200 or so plants in the ground. And then I ran out of rows with the irrigation installed.  And Fixer was out of town, so there was some more waiting. But now that spring is here, it’s been really nice to spend a couple of hours each evening in the field planting after work and before dinner. The Liliputian sits in her stroller with the breeze in her face while Little Bean digs in the dirt and gets mud between her toes and we argue over who gets the little spade, since I’m forever leaving my garden tools in places that make perfect sense at the time but don’t spring to mind later.  Sigh.

Bean and I also managed to get a couple of window boxes planted for the front porch and two rows of potatoes. I’ve never grown those before, so I don’t know what the hell I’m doing (a common theme these days) but a girl can’t just sit around. The potato plants are coming up now, so hopefully we’ll have a decent crop of Yukon Golds and Adirondack Blue spuds.  Grant county is big time potato country, so conditions should be good.

I’m looking forward to planting tomatoes, too. I canned tons last year, but just not quite enough. I’ve got stewed, salsa, ketchup and spaghetti sauce planned.

New apricot freesia soap was made this evening, too.  I used Romance Pink mica from The Conservatorie, which I thought was going to be a nice rosy pink. Currently it is a lovely creamy yellow with a nice mica swirl on top. I’m pleased with the color if it stays creamy or if it goes rosy.  Either one will suit the fragrance.

IMG_5678The blue berry bushes look like they are going to put on a nice looking berry set this year. Next year the bushes should be even more established and bearing even better.

IMG_5676Our wisteria has really taken off this spring, too.  Last year the poor thing really struggled, so we changed the watering schedule and trimmed the trees back to good effect.

IMG_5681Last year, I took a gander at some YouTube videos on pruning clematis.  The vines at the house when we bought it were so neglected and tangled that after attempting careful pruning, I gave up and hit it with the hedge clippers.  So this year, I skipped the careful pruning and had Fixer whack it back.  And just look at it! It looks like a wave sweeping up the shore. It’s still early in the season and still getting really cold at night, so growth will really take off as things warm up.IMG_5680And Bleeding Hearts, ever my favorite.  Cut soap next!


Bucklepenny in Progress: Here Comes the Purple Wave, or Lavender Going In

Well, spring is coming and with it the first of our lavender plants are expected to go into the ground.  Actually, I think it may be here. I bet we’ve got one more big frost coming and then the wind will start signaling that Spring is here. We’ve been plotting a lavender hobby farm since we bought the place, but our planting plans were not so much torpedoed as rearranged last year when we discovered that the Lilliputian was on the way.  Can you imagine being 8 months pregnant, bent over in the field trying to dig 900 planting holes? No? Me neither.  So we decided to press “pause” in our plans, lay our egg and go at it again this spring.  You just can’t have too much planning time, I don’t think.

So I spent the winter reading and researching and having Fixer Guy draw me little pictures of irrigation manifolds and property boundaries.  Here’s how the plan looks so far:  800-900 lavender plants, attendant soaker lines and landscape fabric.  Varieties still TBD, but a mix of high oil yielding varieties, varieties suitable for floral or crafting projects, early and late bloomers and possibly some varieties that have multiple blooming periods.

I expect that we’ll be able to start getting the little monsters in the ground some time in April.  If all goes well and the plants are thriving, we would still have time for another round later in the summer.  My feeling is that the lavender in the yard has done well in our climate with little or no care for the year that the house was unoccupied and did even better with the small attention that we gave them since we’ve been in the house.

Worst case? The neighbors have something much prettier to look at than what’s there now.  We plan to purchase our starts from Victor’s Lavender. Victor’s plants come highly recommended by other growers, many of whom grow for retail rather than wholesale customers.  He also does consulting, if lavender cultivation is something you’re interested in doing.

Raw Lavender Patch

Raw Lavender Patch

Here’s a photo of our expected lavender plot. We have irrigation risers already in place down the length of the property but they need attention, so we plan to rehab them one at a time as we are ready to go on line irrigating our plants. I’ll let you know if that works out to be the right decision.

Our growing area is a funny shape, with a large irrigation ditch forming one boundary on the northwest side and two county roads forming the other 2 sides.  The house is set at an angle back from the road, so we have an irregular polygon to work with.  Since I fancy myself as an orderly sort of girl (Lies! Self-delusion!) I want to plan in straight rows off the road on the south side.  That should give us an easy straight line for irrigation systems to work off as well.

Next steps: firm up variety selections, soil testing and soil amendments