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Farm update

I am pausing information on the specific flowers we grow on the farm to give an update on how the growing season is progressing.

It has been a wonderful spring. We started harvesting spring flowers early with heirloom narcissus that gave way to tulips, anemones, and then ranunculus in a smooth succession of flowers. Most of those flowers were fall planted, which means that the hard work had been done months before, and we could reap the benefits in the spring.

Meanwhile, as we harvested spring bulb flowers, I started seeds indoors and began planting them out into the field. Field sown seeds sprouted, and everything started taking off. Bachelor buttons, orlaya, and snapdragons were quick to sprout and bloom this spring.

Our perennial plants have also been a wonderful addition with peonies, roses, yarrow, baptisia, lilac, euphorbia, ninebark, and many others adding to the texture and dimension of the bouquets we assemble. We had an amazing crop of roses and peonies this year. I look forward to sharing our rose experiment next week that really paid off.

We rely on sage, oregano, raspberry greens, ferns, and other perennials for foliage. Foliage is an important part of bouquets and arrangements, and I love to be able to pull from established plants on the farm for our bouquets.

As spring slowly fades into summer, I am looking forward to sunflowers, dahlias, and zinnias.

Current projects include flower bed transitions, weed suppression, and dahlia maintenance. We are still transitioning beds from spring plantings to summer plantings. Right now, we are digging up ranunculus corms to try to save them for this fall. This will be our first year to attempt this. There is always weed pressure that we work on in waves with mulch, a collinear hoe, and other useful tools. Finally, the dahlias take a lot of work (though they are worth it). Tubers are in the ground, have started to sprout, and have been pinched. Posts are placed and ready for twine. It is exciting to see a new crop growing.

Experiments I am working on: Our area of the country usually experiences regular rainfall in the early summer, which the flowers love. However, that can also lead to powdery mildew. I have postponed my zinnia planting this year with that in mind. We shall see if the experiment pays off. Stay tuned for an update later this summer.

I will leave you with a picture of the farm this evening in all its glory. I have not been able to work in it much this week but look forward to getting back in there next week to tame the weeds.

Update 9/24/23: My zinnia experiment worked really well. By direct sowing seeds later than previous years, I was able to avoid most of the powdery mildew and got beautiful flowers this summer. You do not have to do what everyone else does. Plant according to your farm and your microclimate.


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