It's been cold the last couple of weeks. - Too cold to do anything at the farm other than a bit of shoveling of wood chip (thanks to my wonderful local Tree Surgeon Paul). So what else do Flower farmers do in winter?
(photo credit Emma Davies)
Well, I havn't been sitting around with my feet up, for the last few weeks, - here's some of the things i've been up to
My love of Gantt charts goes back to my engineering degree, but i've been sitting planning what seeds i need to fill which beds, and what I need to have done before I can plant them. - The large seed order from Moles seeds arrived within 4 days, - and it's now all catalogued by the week number that i'm going to sow everything. - Nothing starts until week 6 (that's next week), - but the propagator in the greenhouse is already full, because i've been
Nothing like using your quiet season to go and learn more from the experts.
in this case Withypitts Dahlias .
Now my Dahlias weren't too bad last year, but I grew them all from Tubers, and most of the top show Dahlia growers propagate theirs from cuttings, - so I went along to learn how to properly take Dahlia cuttings so that I can grow lots more of my successful varieties from last year
Richard from Withypitts showing us the correct way to take Dahlia cuttings. As soon as I got back I filled my temperature controlled propagator with dahlia tubers, sitting in compost, to start them growing. -I'll let you know how they come on.
i've been Networking
Mostly meeting with lots of other flower growers, (and lots of members of Flowers from the farm) chatting about what they're up to, what's going well for them. Talking to florists about what flowers they want in the coming season, and generally putting the world to rights, and enjoying others company.
plus i've been Writing lots ready for some Talking i'm doing over the coming weeks. There's a "business of selling flowers" workshop on Monday, and i'm talking to the Farnborough Fuchsia and Pelargonium Society next week about Herbs, and there are Growing your Cutting garden from Seeds and Bulbs workshops at the end of the month.
and of course i'm answering all the email enquiries that i'm receiving about flowers for weddings and events later in the season. So although it's still snowing outside my office window, - there's lots to be done, - better get ticking things off that to-do list.