Greer, South Carolina
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What’s this about a disease??

What’s this about a disease??

In 2015, we sourced our original plants to populate the field from 3 different nurseries.  One of the nurseries sent us diseased plant material. They had used a treatment that suppressed the symptoms and the plants did not show symptoms until after they were planted.  We planted in early May 2015 and by the end of May, 2 of our rows were 90% dead from this disease.  We got the plants tested and started working with a professor at Clemson to understand the disease and figure out what we could do.  Turns out, we couldn’t do much.  The disease is in the soil, travels by water and kills the roots of the plant.  This means a shoe or shovel with moist dirt on it could spread the disease, so we had to consider the whole field contaminated.  Over the years, we have had plants from all over the field test positive for the disease. If a plant has the disease, it won’t recover and we can not replant in that same hole.

Due to the nature of the disease, in this area, it can only be “cured” with fumigation – which would kill everything (good and bad) in the whole field.  Fumigation would be enormously expensive for the whole area and it’d wipe out living plants.  So pretty much, we could only treat with chemicals that would act like a vitamin to help the plants stand up to the disease.  We did.  However, one year, there was an unexpected bad reaction and many plants were burned and those areas did not recover.  (That story here http://southernhillslavender.com/the-ups-and-downs-of-farming/)  The field would pretty much kill itself out over time, but we didn’t know how long the field will last and a lot of it depends on weather.

We can still use the stems, blooms, and leaf material because the disease is at the root level.  We posted details about the disease and any chemicals used at the Upicks.

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