December 16, 2021 0 Comments
We heard your requests for more blooms for 2021. We so much going on in today's World we also felt that more flowers would be smiles for the soul.
We worked around the clock over last winter to germinated over 50 different varieties with several colors also germinated for each variety. We even tried our hand at germinating Lisianthus seeds, which not only take 6 months to flower, their seeds are so tiny they have to be pelleted in order just to see them to plant and get started. In fact with these seeds we even did soil blocking, which is molding your soil within a mold so you place the soil block on a meat tray and don't plant in a pot. Lisianthus blooms are so beautiful they are one of my top favorites.
We had to order 2 more grow light systems (three shelves per system) which would allow us to germinate 72 flats trays for 777 plants for total of 2,331 flowers and/or 18 pots per flat for a total of 324 flowers and of course my smart husband (David) added timers to regulate the amount of each shelf hours the grow light would be turned on and off, as well as a thermostat to regulate the temperatures of the heat mats. With 50 varieties of flowers and each one have their specific needs it would have drove me crazy if they were not regulated automatically. Defiantly a learning curve. Yep, crazy! Some seeds need to be in the dark for so many days to get them to germinate. We had to cover their trays with file folders to provide their darkness. Some needed to be in the dark. but not on heat mats, so we just placed them in a dark room, but had to make sure their were watered daily. Then some seeds needed no heat but light for 12 hours, some light for 18 hours, and some needed heat mats on one temperature and other on a totally different temperatures. It was so crazy! Our system was in the basement, so a lot of up and down stairs to water. When the flowers were big enough to go into our small greenhouse we moved them in order to then germinate more seeds in the basement. But it was all worth it to see all the blooms this year.
What did we grow and how did they do? As I said we grew 50 different varieties. So what did we not grow. I remember growing up seeing all the flowers my grandma had in her garden, so many I grew were the ones she grew in NC. I learned some of the ones she could grow, like the Hollyhocks, did not grow well here on our farm here in Georgia. Others did amazing! My favorites and easiest one to grow were Zinnias, Cosmos, Asters, Celosia, and Gomphrnas. While the Snapdragons grew well in the beginning, these little black beetles, called. loved them too and sucked all the life out of the poor snapdragons. We have honey bees and are Earth safe, so anything we tried the was environmentally safe did not work and we lost the snapdragons.
What I learned was what flowers I will grow again, because they did so well and were less work. I also learned not to go so crazy with so many different varieties! With also growing my lavender, my main love, I cannot give myself too much work. But as you might know... flowers seeds are so addicting!! I would see the seed catalog photos and think how amazing these flowers would look on the farm and how our visitors would love them. Some flowers just cannot take our summer heat or acidic soil.
What's up for 2022? We will still have flowers, lots of flowers! This way when visitors come to the farm we will have something in bloom for their flowers from Spring through Autumn. Lavender is in bloom only about several weeks, so diversifying with other flowers are a good thing. We will Growing is all dependent on the weather, but we will continue to do our best. So check out our flowers for 2022. We will have tons of various Zinnias in all the colors, China Asters, Celosia Chief Mix, as well as the plumes, a lot more Gomphrena in all the colors which we will dry, and many more varieties from Cosmos, Black-eyed Susans, Strawflowers, Foxgloves, more roses, to Lisianthusis. And of course we will have David's gorgeous Dahlias. We had just over 900 of them this year. I gave him the rows next to the top area gazebo, so he can plant even more Dahlias and won't that look amazing for photos - the Dahlias with their big blooms with the white gazebo!! We are so looking forward to 2022!
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