Deciding whether to cover lavender for the winter, or not, is a question many lavender farmers ponder. Conferring with other growers in preparation for our first winter, the most important takeaway was in examining our microclimate. I’ve heard it said, “if you don’t like the weather in Missouri today, stick around, it will change.” So true! Our winters usually consist of dry-cold air from the northern plains and Canada, sometimes capable of producing ice, snow, fluctuating temperatures, and extreme precipitation events. Brrrrr!
We decided to give our new lavender plants every possible opportunity to survive the winter. Our rationale, if Mother Nature’s wrath killed them, it wouldn’t be because we didn’t do all we could to aid them in survival...decision made, we covered.
Armed with row covers, hoops and landscape staples, we headed for the field. We quickly realized three things: 1) Only Mary Poppins is capable of fastening row covers on a windy day. 2) Six-inch landscape staples are not strong/long enough to hold throughout our windy winters. 3) The more concrete blocks you use to fasten down the row covers, the better!
As autumn leaves curl at our feet, we tuck our lavender in each year with a bedtime story, milk, and cookies. Goodnight lavender sleep well. We will see you when you wake in the spring!