No sooner does the box of holiday decorations make it back into the closet that the seed trays come out. Or so it seems.
Each year, Patti starts thousands of seeds. No kidding. The process is part science, part artwork, part luck. So many things can go wrong, which makes “attentiveness” the most critical component of raising flowers from seed. You have to pay close attention to the soil, the lighting, the heat, and moisture. And then there are the field mice who consider tasty green sprouts quite a delicacy!
When most people think of starting seeds, they think spring, but here on the farm seeding is actually a weekly activity that takes place right up until the end of July for cultivating this year’s flowers. Seeding actually continues right into the fall for next year’s flowers.
We currently grow more than 60 varieties of flowers, many of which are unique and not the kind that can be shipped in the cargo hold of a plane. Flowers such as cosmos, zinnia, allium, celosia, nigella, poppies and ammi are just a few examples of beautiful, locally grown flowers that look amazing in wedding bouquets (see our flower photos). These flowers are quite delicate and have a hard time making the overseas trip.
When growing a variety of unique specimens, finding the right seeds can be a bit of a challenge. We tend to depend upon commercial outfits such as Geo Seed and Johnny’s Selected Seeds for sourcing, however, seeds may actually be available through your local library, which may have a seed library, or your local garden club.
Remember, it may sound counter intuitive but, seeds are not ubiquitous and are not always available. Suppliers can run out of certain stocks during the year. It helps to order ahead. The best time to order seeds for a flower you love is right after it has finished flowering. In that way you remember the colors you liked, how many you needed, and if you want to try a new variety for next year.
If you are interested in learning a great deal more about seeds and, for that matter, everything a flower farmer needs to know, consider joining us for one of our full-day workshops this summer. These are “boots required” events for budding flower farmers and serious garden enthusiasts. Learn more on our workshops page.
Before we sign off, I’d like to thank Lucas of TYDΛLFORCE for providing the original soundtrack to our video above. Just like our flowers, that song was home grown.