When most people think of lavender, they think of luxurious fields growing in the south of France, not the Bluegrass. However, lavender can be grown and enjoyed in Kentucky! It just requires a little more TLC. There is more to soil prep than just digging a hole and adding water. Lavender is a perennial shrub that is native to Mediterranean climates. That means it likes to be hot and dry!
The first step is to find a spot in your yard that drains well and gets a lot of sunlight. The top of a hill or slope where water would drain off is better than the bottom where water will accumulate. Dig a hole 2-3 times the size of the root ball and mix 2 cups of rocks in the soil to create good drainage away from the roots. Don't add sand as this will form concrete when mixed with heavy clay soil.
Lavender needs an alkaline (basic) soil with pH 7.0-7.5. Adding about 1/4 cup organic lime and bone meal to your soil will increase the pH which will allow the plant to absorb nutrients well. These amendments also promote good root growth during the first year of planting.
Water your plant every other day if it doesn't rain. Lavender doesn't like to sit in water, but does need plenty of water the first year to become well established.
Last, but certainly not least: Keep weeds away from your lavender! It does not like to be crowded and will grow much better with good air flow to keep the leaves dry and resist disease. Follow these easy tips and your lavender will not only survive, it will THRIVE! Happy planting!