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The Whining Flower Grower

by | May 16, 2008

I am beginning to feel like a broken record this year, or as my sister points out a "whiner", but this is a tough season! Cold temps, lots of rain make for three times the work for not so many flowers.

Why so much extra work? Well we haven’t been able to plant in our normal fashion of planting and mulching immediately because of all the rain. We are afraid the young plants will rot. We are waiting till the temps warm and the plants are a little larger. This means that the beds are being weeded weekly by me…… Add to this that the wind storm we had this past week, either pushed the plants over and they are laying on the ground or broken off. Those plants laying down make using the hoe for weeding a slower process.

Our snapdragon and larkspur crop is pretty much a lose. I made the mistake after 3 years of drought conditions of not planting in a raised enough bed, plus planted in a wet area along with the days of rain and these crops have called it quits. Total mature, ready to bloom, then they just literally wilt and melt.  I finally had a mental memorial service for the snaps last week, it was driving me crazy. All other crops surrounding them are loving the rain. Not a thing to do but to be smarter next year.

And another thing! I planted 800 sunflowers yesterday from plug trays–not soil blocks because we didn’t have the space indoors to start from blocks. I am reminded how much quicker and easier it is to plant blocks over plugs! It took me 4 times longer to plant, which means 4 times longer on my knees. IF you are a seed starter and don’t do soil blocking, you should check it out–it is the way the English and Dutch have been doing it for over 100 years. It is super homeowner friendly, space savvy (40 plants fit on a 5" x 7" tray- yes that is inches!) grows superior seedlings, earth-friendly, not need for black plastic trays. Click here to watch our video about blocking.

I will start mulching beds with straw next week, hope in site to the end of my weeding days!

We are harvesting Sweet Peas, Peonies, Nigella, Bachelor Buttons, Bupleurum, Veronica, Sweet Pea Vine, Sedum for foliage, Lenten Roses and the beginnings of Yarrow.

I will try not to whine to much longer, but it makes me feel a bit better if others know just how much I am suffering over here!

I love flower farming! We are gearing up for Country Gardens Magazine visit in July.The day is drawing nearer and nearer! I have done a special exclusive cutting garden seed collection for them which is planted in a special bed in my garden. It is under heavy guard from Golden Retrievers, wind, cold temperatures and hungry rabbits! I could not garden without floating row cover it is what is getting us through this crazy season.



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