Tired of working inside and looking out my windows to the beautiful outside, I decided I would like to dip my toe into flower farming. That was in the fall of the first year of COVID, 2019. I signed up for a course to learn how to flower farm, as I knew nothing and had practically no experience. This is our story.
Late Fall 2020 Prepping
I take the Floret Online Course and start looking at seeds.
I begin to set up lights and indoor growing. We added vinyl flooring to protect the floor. I started seeds. My first seeds sprout February 26..
In March we add four more beds behind the metal beds, we add beds next to the garage. Sweet peas are ready to be planted outside. So we make more beds that are placed behind the willows and birch trees.
April is crazy! We build several beds and grow lots of plants. It’s cold and snows. Then it rains. Too wet to do much . Luckily we have raised beds.
Meanwhile, inside, I’m growing annuals and sprouting dahlias.
In April, the neighbor farmer begins to remove the treeline.
In May I get several things planted. A friend of mine helps me put in an irrigation system but I didn’t pick a good kit and it leaks everywhere. I’ll have to buy something else next year. Some of the spring flowers are beginning to bloom. I finally get the dahlias in the ground.
In June the flowers are really beginning to come in , especially the lilies, anemones, ranunculus, sweetpeas, phlox, and snaps. My friend, Perri, and I travel to Cincinnati to help my farmer friend, Tracey, set up for market. (Unfortunately the thunderstorms called for cancelling the market. But much was learned anyway.)
July brought in my first wedding. Grace, Thomas, and I put the flowers together. I made the cake.
Lots and lots of planting, weeding, harvesting, and making bouquets. I don’t have the marketing worked out yet, and I’m always behind, but I clearly know how to GROW flowers.
After all the rain, the farmers behind us were able to finish the grading and tiling. We picked up sticks and rocks for days!
This month I’m mainly trying to keep things weeded, watered, and growing. The dahlias are coming in strong.
We put in a small rose garden and some climbing roses as well.
Our Amish neighbors helped us to lay plastic for our field rows using a tool they have.
The dahlias are coming in strong.
We get the fame to our hoophouse up, I spend a week at the county fair trying to get the word out about our farm, and I spend a lot of time deadheading dahlias.
In October, dahlias are still going strong, we mulch the roses,
In November we put up the plastic with the help of a our friend, Ed. We dug up our dahlias with the help of Perri, Ed, and Bernice. There are no photos, but it was a long and miserable job, taking me several days to divide and sort the tubers, packing them safely away ( I hope) in the fridge. Praise God for snow.
We had some high winds with 60 mph gusts. Our hoop house was crumbling and so we cut the cords to save what we could. It is still too wet to fix it. And most of the baby plants were destroyed. Some of the tulips also–too wet.
I forced some paper-whites and amaryllis. Hoping to do much more next year.