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5 Best Books for Starting a Cut-Flower Farm

by | Jun 28, 2022

Back before I was a flower farmer, when I was still just a “gardener gone wild” as I like to say, there weren’t very many learning resources available. I started before the internet, folks! So naturally, books were the main way to expand my knowledge. And just as I hope that my books, Cool Flowers and Vegetables Love Flowers, can be stepping stones for today’s readers, the following are the 5 books that were the foundation of MY flower farming journey.

#1: The Flower Farmer: An Organic Grower’s Guide to Raising & Selling Cut Flowers, by Lynn Byczynski
I consider Lynn to be the godmother of flower farming in the modern era. This book has so much to offer both to the novice and the experienced grower. It was after reading this book that I began to feel confident that I could actually become a successful flower farmer. With the publication of the 2nd edition in 2008 it became an even more robust resource, an essential in my mind for flower growers of all sizes.

#2: The New Organic Grower: A Master’s Manual of Tools & Techniques for the Home & Market Gardener, by Eliot Coleman
Though not specific to flower growing, this book introduced me to the intensive, small- space growing techniques commonly used across Europe. With this knowledge, I grew even more confident that my small urban farm had the potential to produce amazing quantities of flowers. Eliot Colemen also introduced me to the concept of starting seeds in soil blocks, also a European tradition, which is the foundation of everything here at my farm.


#3: Postharvest Handling of Cut Flowers and Greens: A Practical Guide for Commercial Growers, Wholesalers, and Retailers, by John Dole, et al.
This book is published and sold by the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, a membership organization full of extremely dedicated researchers and highly experienced growers. It is designed as an easy reference tool for a nearly exhaustive list of cut flowers, woodys and greens, with detailed instructions and best practices for postharvest care for each. I think this one should not only be on every grower’s bookshelf, but that all of our commercial buyers should have a copy on hand as well.


#4: Grow Organic: Over 250 Tips & Ideas for Growing Flowers, Veggie, Lawns & More, by Doug Oster & Jessica Walliser
Doug & Jessica combined their nearly 50 years of gardening experience into this very practical handbook, offering simple ways that gardeners at any level can use organic practices to improve their gardens. This book really showed me the potential of adopting organic practices (such as composting, soil building, and pest management) and the amazing benefits it would bring.

#5: Teaming With Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web, by Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis
Even though I knew that growing with organic practices was important to me, this book really helped me understand that our soil is its own world, full of so many different organisms that all rely on each other to thrive. I began to think about taking care of not only the flowers I was growing and the pollinators I was supporting above ground, but also all the creatures that I needed to be supporting below ground as well. Understanding the connection between these systems really helped to solidify my commitment to organic practices.

So those are the 5 top books that helped me start my flower farm, the ones that were most instrumental in my journey. I would encourage you to give them a look, they are all still as relevant and useful now as they were back then.

About The Author: Lisa Mason Ziegler – Is a leader in the cut-flower growing industry, author, accomplished speaker, virtual course instructor, & the owner of The Gardener’s Workshop. Click Here To Learn more!