Increasing lavender production and oil producers through the use of hoop housing and soil amendments

2011 Annual Report for FNC10-819

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2010: $6,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Coordinator:
Mike Prell
Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm, LLC

Increasing lavender production and oil producers through the use of hoop housing and soil amendments


Season Activities

We have completed our planting project with a little over 1000 plants in the fields, totaling a near two acres of oil producing lavender varieties. Varieties planted include: Lavandula intermedia ‘Grosso’, Lavandula intermedia ‘Provence’ and Lavandula intermedia ‘Dutch’.

Our field test consists of twelve 100-foot rows of #57 and natural sand soil amendments, twelve 100-foot rows of #8 limestone gravel and 16 tons of natural sand. Next, we planted seven rows of non-soil-amended rows. All above beds have been raised to required heights per grant proposal. Next we have two additional non-raised soil amended beds. Total of 61 rows of lavender planted.

All plants growing flowers have been trimmed back to form a round compact bush. Trimming is done to stop flowering and promote continued vegetative growth during the first season.

Our planting continued through August 1st due to continuous rain. Not all 2000 plants have been planted due to the weather delays during May planting. 1383 plants out of the 2000 planned have been planted in the ground.

Objectives/Performance Targets


Full harvest for all planted fields is third year out. A second year harvest is estimated to yield near half of estimated full harvest yields. Each row’s harvest records will be kept and differentiated between hooped, non-hooped and type of soil amendments per harvest and variety. And compared to our private researched acre of lavender.

We are currently deciding whether or not to plant the additional 17 flats of lavender ordered, but not yet received. Our thought is to go ahead with a fall planting to help determine possible fall or spring planting benefits. Again wet weather could hold this idea back.

Our farm will also be presenting our grant information and findings to the OSU South Extension office. Over the winter break we will continue to collect questionnaires on other farms and their growing conditions and success rates. We will design print materials for our lavender festival and future grower field day.



We have collaborated with Harmony Farms of Tipp City, OH by visiting their farm comparing growing practices and results. Nearly ten groups of future lavender growers from different Midwest locations have toured our farm and many current growers have visited our farm for advice on why their plants are dying. From the three farms that have visited our farm, two were from out of state: Michigan and Tennessee lavender farmers. We have also initiated a form for current lavender growers to report their issues on the current field productions.

Other farmers from Texas, Washington, Nebraska, Kansas, and Ohio have contributed their private growing conditions with us. Others still could submit the Google form here. 

We have also posted our SARE project on our website and to various Facebook Lavender Growing groups. Awareness is extremely important to us and we plan to continue consulting and sharing detailed information to current and future lavender growers.

During the off winter season for 2011 we will be compiling data on every lavender grower in the Midwest. We will be offering a 2012 Field day just for these growers so they can experience the growing treatment differences in our soil and methods of growing lavender. At the end of our 2012 growing season we will be presenting our findings to the Ohio State South Extension office, meant for the organized growers we communicate with. These presentations will also include our findings on harvesting times, pruning benefits and other methods we have experimented with over the years on our current production. We will also be presenting our 4th annual Lavender Festival June 16 & 17, 2012. All events will have print material as described in the grant proposal budget to help bring awareness to these events.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes


Non soil amendment, raised bed fields have nearly a half dozen deaths in the fields. Half of the plant has withered and dried up. We suspected root rot but quickly threw out this [idea] with inadequate water with these specific field plants. ALL fields are thriving strong up until these deaths in the non-treated fields. A few of these plants are being sent out to The Ohio State Extension office for testing possibilities of disease or drought causing the deaths. Growth rates are higher in the #57 treated Fields compared to #8 and non treatment. The #57 soil amendment is a larger 1/2 to 1 inch limestone rock.

One major issue we faced this year was being forced to delay planting until June 1st. This was the first time we were able to build raised beds due to a very wet spring in our region.


March 22, 2012, Removed hoop house covers on field trials due to high 80 degree temperatures. NO plants have experienced death under the hoops. Only 1 plant was slightly affected on all three Hoop row trials. Plant shoots are present throughout the covered and non covered plants but the hooped rows have more dense compact shoots from every node forming a tight bush. The exposed rows only have tip growth lengthening the plant top of the plant. Hoop lavender leaves consist of bright fresh green growth.

Live bagged in burlap lavender samples with winter damage are being sent to OSU for testing. Results will follow to determine cause of death. From past experience it seems to be an issue with ice but could be signs of root rot. Two samples will be sent out on April 1st, 2012.

South Field 1 (raised bed, plastic weed guard)
Soil Amendments per 30 plants
? #57 Limestone, 8 loads/16 ton
? Natural Sand, 4 loads/ 8 ton
1% Death
21% Damage (1/2 to single branch damage)
68% Survival (no damage)

North Field 2 (raised bed, plastic weed guard)
Soil Amendments per 30 plants
? #57 Limestone, 8 loads/16 ton
? Natural Sand, 4 loads/ 8 ton
4% Death
38% Damage (1/2 to single branch damage)
3% Damage (3/4 branch death)
56% Survival (no damage)

West Field 3 (No Treatment, raised bed, plastic weed guard)
3% Death
28% Damage (1/2 to single branch damage)
69% Survival (no damage)

Lane Field B (non raised bed, no weed guard)
Soil Amendments per 30 plants
? #8 Limestone, 8 loads/16 ton
? Natural Sand, 4 loads/ 8 ton
37% Death
35% Damage (1/2 to single branch damage)
28% Survival (no damage)

Lane Field A (non raised bed, no weed guard)
Soil Amendments per 30 plants
? #54 Limestone, 8 loads/16 ton
? Natural Sand, 4 loads/ 8 ton
9% Death
36% Damage (1/2 to single branch damage)
55% Survival (no damage)


Steve & Tammy Reed
86 Glenwood Circle
Wilmington, OH 45177
Office Phone: 9375271717
Brad Bergefurd
Extension Agent
1864 Shyville Rd
Piketon, OH 45661
Office Phone: 7402893727
Eric Guindon
Task Manager
1211 Martinsville Road
Martinsville, OH 45146
Office Phone: 9377253523
Kym Prell
2387 Martinsville Road
Martinsville, OH 45146
Office Phone: 9372425055