Well, here we are at the end of September and my last blog post was in March. That's the way of flower farming-the busy season is...busy. The added challenges of drought and extreme heat made this season one I'm not sad to see wrap up. It was just damn hard and it's okay to admit that. There's a lot of sweat, worry, tears, and bug bites behind each flower harvested. I've always loved the phrase some years you win and some years you learn. It's been a big learning year over here. But September sweeps in every year right on time with cool mornings and shorter days, a perfect time to reflect before the big push of fall sowing begins.
Now that I have my second season behind me in Tennessee, I am getting a feel for what crops thrive here, which are worth the extra effort, and which need to be dropped from my plans. I've started sketching and journaling out plans for next year and here are some of the big changes:
-I will be focusing mainly on growing dahlias. Yes, growing dahlias in warm climates can be tricky. I find, and my customers confirm, they are worth the extra tlc. I will be tripling my growing space for dahlias next year. This means I will be able to supply all our local florists, hopefully a few wholesalers, and the public with fresh cut dahlias.
-I'm adding more peonies to the field and moving them to the north side of the yard to give them a bit of relief from our late spring heat.
-I am direct seeding all my annuals. This means blooms may arrive a few weeks later in the spring, but it's worth not babysitting seedlings. Plus, summer annuals seem to prefer direct sowing here. My best annuals this year are all volunteers from last year. I guess that's appropriate in the volunteer state :)
-I plan to finish out my perennial garden this year! It's been a work in progress, but I have lots of varieties to keep me, my customers, and the bees happy.
-I'm going to reveal the final big change in a post next week because I have a lot to say about it and it goes beyond just growing flowers. I hope you'll stop back to read it.
I wish you all well as the season winds down. Whether you have a single zinnia in a pot or acres of blooms, this season challenged us all. Wishing you a bit of ease before the big fall planting and clean up begins.
Thanks for being here.