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Fall harvest is staged

by | Aug 18, 2013

All of our fall harvest flowers are started and either planted in the field or waiting to be planted in the next couple of weeks.  Fall should be full of beauties.

293334_305540742795221_821270799_nOne of our favorites that we can’t seem to ever grow enough is ornamental cut-flower kale. We use tons in our fall bouquets, our florist love them and we are hoping to have almost enough this year. I haven’t completely mastered growing these but we are getting better each year.

Our last planting of summer annuals went in a couple weeks ago—zinnias, cockscomb, celosia plumes, grasses, basil, and more zinnias… never enough. This planting won’t be near as productive as earlier plantings—but it is nice to have a fresh crop to cut from. Our earlier plantings are still going strong—so we will be knee deep in flowers.

Our dahlia’s neglected days are over—the spot light is on them now to get with the program and start blooming! Actually they have been blooming, but the quality and buggyness  (is this a word) are always a problem in the heat of summer. In addition the blooms just don’t last when they are growing under such stressful conditions. So we just either ignore them or cut and drop them in the pathway. But their time to shine is on its way—fall. Just what the doctor ordered; dew, cool nights, warm days, lots of fish and kelp fertilizer, and a regular compost tea bath will have them blooming like crazy before long and oh yeah; lots of water.

IMG_20130817_111246_032Another goodie is the cut-flower mums we grow (bed on right above). They really carry us through once the days are short and cool—they have been weeded and mulched and had their share of compost  tea baths also! We continue to plant sunflowers until September. They are another priceless bright flower in fall bouquets.

So fall is going to flourish here and all the while we are starting seeds for fall planting for spring blooms!

I love flower farming!!

sunflower babies planted 2013 fall resize




Lisa Mason Ziegler is a commercial cut-flower farmer in Newport News, Virginia; she lectures and writes about organic and sustainable gardening. You can email Lisa at [email protected] , call her at 757-877-7159 or visit her website .

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