Q.Wanting To Start A Lavender Field
We’re in TN, zone 7, want to start a lavender field, eventually about 4 acres. It’s a (years-ago) hay field that has drainage lines already, so fields are mounded. Question is, it’s grass now; do we need to till it/turn it, etc. prior to planting small-sized plants? Will established grass compete with the lavender for nutrients or choke them out? Thanks so much in advance for any info, we’ve learned a ton from your site already!
I'm less concerned about competition for nutrients with grass as I am about the difficulties working with the shrub when it has grass growing through it. It will make it difficult to visualize where to harvest and prune. Grass will compete for sunshine and this might cause bare branches if they are shaded. Common advice is to get a soil test from a professional lab; your TN extension service offers this for a modest fee. Mounds are the original raised bed and is helpful with lavender which does not like frequently moist soil. A soil percolation test will give you an idea of whether the ground underneath drains well enough to keep the mounds on the dry side. I found this article interesting: https://projects.sare.org/sare_project/fnc10-819/
Here is a link to DIY soil percolation testing: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/testing-percolation-in-soil.htm