Cutflower Growers Journal Apr. 25- Apr. 30.

anniew(4-5/PA)April 25, 2005

Thought I'd start another thread for this week. Although I appreciate that many may be busy, I thought the other thread was getting too long (29 posts).

I got 10 trays of sunflowers seeded over the weekend to transplant for an earlier crop, plus did two more trays of Purple Majesty for a later crop.

Also 10 4-inch pots of other things that will need transplanting once up and running.

Am waiting for pots to be delivered today so I can get on with transplanting perennials.

More lilies will also come this week along with gladioli.

Have some ground cultivated but with temps still at or below freezing at night and mighty cold and blustery during the day, I hesitate to put things out even though some can take the's that quick change in temps and the wind that would get them!

Got a bunch of free used pots and 1020 flats yesterday from a trucker who delivers plants and veggies from Florida up to the northeast. Many places just have piles of pots and trays that they heave, and I recycle. I offer to take any pots back from my customers, whether they bought stuff here or elsewhere. Gets them back once and also saves expenses for me.

Loads to do this week. Have a good one!


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Bob_Piper(NE Oklahoma)

I am now glad that I hadn't put my zinnias out in the beds. We had a 30F. morning here Sunday and I fear that I would have been out of the zinnia business. hehe
That was an alltime low record temp for this late in April here in N.E. Oklahoma. Of course my lilies didn't seem to mind it and now, today, they are getting some much needed rain.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 11:12AM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

Hi everyone - I missed posting last week. I took Thurs/Fri. off from my "non-farm" job to plant. Steve - the Baptisia are in the ground! Then, over the course of the 4 days (not including the pouring rain-very much needed rain on Saturday = no planting outside), we planted 2800 lilies!

I ordered these metal markers and they are slick...we'll see if they hold up to watering over the summer.

I did seed 2 trays of celosia and one of basil, and did a bit of cleaning up in my barn on the wet Sat. afternoon.
My lilies from last year are up, the CASA BLANCAs which were the last to bloom last year are actually about 15" tall and probably will bloom first, had to put the support netting on them before they got much taller.

Jeanne - my two trial Doronicum plants are blooming! So, now, I know they survive, so will probably add that to a perenial bed somewhere (I figure about 100 for a 25'x 3' bed, right?)

Now, this week, my weedcloth is coming (from Shaw Products in CO and Dalen products in TN (UPS is going to love or hate me!). I'm going to try and plant all the perennials and some of the annuals through the lighter weight stuff (Walmart carries it - but, working through a Dalen rep I was able to order 2 cases - hope it significantly reduces my weeding labor) and use the heavier stuff for the paths. Then, need to plant the 1000 glads, and the rest of the bare root plants that are in the cooler plus the plants from the garden club plant sale!

LizaLily - are you storing your tulips horizonally and dry, wrapped in newspaper? I found putting them in the big glass vases with the newspaper wrapped around their heads in the cooler works very nicely, but sometimes they grow taller than the newspaper!

Question for you all - do you have a source for Chocolate Cosmos? I think its a perennial in certain zones. Do you like it? Do customers like it?
Ok - that's all for now!
Take care,

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 6:36PM
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I'm glad you got the Baptisia in the ground. I'm so sorry I didn't get back to you on the weed barrier fabric, I was taking advantage of the good weather to "make hay". I think FarmTek is about the cheapest I found. I bought the 3' X 300 foot rolls for $31.00 a roll. I hope you didn't pay more than that. It's the woven stuff with the lines on it. I just want it to last until the shrubs are big enough to take care of themselves.

We finally got some more rain today but it has gotten cold again, we had a light frost the other night so I'm glad I didn't put anything out yet. I've got 10 more shrub beds to get fabric on and then its time to get them in the ground. Yesterday I finished weeding all of last years shrubs. I wasn't in a place to buy the weed barrier last year to put down first. Hindsight being what it is, I should have taken out a loan because I can already tell the fabric is gonna save a ton of time later.

Tomorrow I'm gonna watch it rain and work on a planting calender with my 3 year old. I'm actually picking dates when I should plant, there's a novel idea!!!

Happy growing,


    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 11:41PM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

Wendy, your guess on how many doronicum is better than mine - I think I only have 12 or so! If the flower stems are as long as I think they'll be this year, I'll have to find a place to put 20 or 30 more, but then I'm at my limit, realistically. I don't think I can grow much more than I already do, unless I find another market and hire somebody, neither of which I want to do.

Steve, you were right. The fourth Baptisia is sprouting now, just one sprout, but it was so small going into winter, I really didn't expect it to survive. I think I only have room for two in the long run, but can grow all four for now until they get bigger and crowded. At least I can cut the two temporaries liberally without worrying about over-cutting - once they get big enough to cut in the first place, that is!

Kristen, you asked about glads sources in last week's journal. I get the biggest, healthiest, and cheapest bulbs from AMG. They don't have a big selection, though, so I pick up others here and there: Costco (knowing full well the color may be unrelated to the color shown on the bag), Noweta, Pinetree, and a few from Bourgondien this year. I don't actually recommend Bourgondien. I had some troubles years ago, the last time I ordered from them, with them sending me the wrong colors of things, but I saw a couple of glads in their catalog I just had to have this year, so I ordered. I just received the order and there are ALREADY color problems! The photo in the catalog turns out to be all wrong for the name of the glad, Flevo Laguna, which is mostly solid purple. The catalog photo is green with magenta edges. They say they ran out of Laguna, so they sent me some of those and some of another, Amico, whose green-and-magenta description fits the photo in the catalog, which they called Laguna. I want the green and red ones - but it appears I have some of one and some of the other, and no faith that anything will be the color it says it is! I guess I should have known better. If they have an 800 number I'll call tomorrow and see what can be done. I ordered Karma dahlias from them, too. The clumps were small but looked pretty good. I refuse to even think about any color problems with them right now.

Got another 700 or so glads in the ground yesterday. Worked at the hospital today. We're scheduled for one more day of nice weather, then back to the 30's and 50's with chances of rain. That actually sounds pretty good to me, but I don't trust in getting rain any more. Tomorrow I'll put the sprinkler on my front yard - narcissus are frying in the dry heat - and get the drip going in the field. There is enough moisture still in the ground for established perennials, but I've planted a lot of bareroots and transferred a lot of plants from elsewhere in the field, and they need water. Then more transplanting, then I work on prepping annual beds. Oh, and setting up a cold-frame area to harden off seedlings, with mini-sprinklers, and transplanting from seedling blocks to 2" blocks, and it goes on, and on, and on...


    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 12:35AM
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I thought that little buggar would poke out. I think once you start to use it you'll be wishing for more. While the flowers are gorgeous, all of the florists loved the emerald green foliage just as much, if not more.

We are getting rain again today, one of those on and off soakers. Our temps have dropped back down below normal and it's gonna be unseasonably cold for the next week "they" say. I don't trust them either on the rain predictions. I'm stuck to wishing for it and doing the midnight rain dance since I have no irrigation system. That's why I call this professional gambling sometimes.

I hope you get the rain you need and the bugs and bad weather stay away.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 9:25AM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

Steve, my space limitations are a matter of climate. I have very limited room in my more sheltered area. I don't expect survival from any but the toughest perennials in my field, where I have plenty of room but the microclimate is a difficult, windy cold-sink zone 4. I hope you get the rain you need, too!

I just did a little Net reseach and then spoke with somebody at Bourgondien. Neither of the Flevo glads they are selling fit the photo in the catalog. One is pink and yellow, the other is solid purple. The catalog photo is green with magenta edges. Brother! I should have known! Now I'm worrying about the Karma dahlias, whether they really are Karmas and what colors they really are. Oh, well, as long as they are good-sized flowers I can use any color. I have to give them credit, their customer service rep didn't know what I was talking about and didn't understand no matter how I put it, but she tried, and was pleasant, and is trying to make it better by sending more of the pink and yellows - which she thinks is green and magenta! But at least they are trying to make it better.

If I don't get out there soon, NOTHING is going to get watered. I'm outta here-


    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 11:36AM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

Lizalily---did you see the post in the market gardener's forum for someone looking for local growers for the old Four Season's Hotel in Seattle???

Check it out! Its under flowers wanted...good luck!


    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 1:07PM
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Noni Morrison

WEndy, yes we wrote to the florist and he was all excited about what we could do for him, then we never heard back from him again. We proposed sometimes he could come visit and see what we were doing,, per his request. I don't know what to think. We gave him a list of questions do we work out the details...seems to have scared him away or else he is a total flake. IT is disappointing as we thought he was legitimately looking for what we could produce. I wrote to him 3 times with no answer and gave up. If he wants to contact us he will have to initiate it himself....and answer E-mails.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 5:21PM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

Lizalily - darn!! I had my fingers crossed for you!! Still will!


    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 7:20PM
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Where can I find gladioli bulbs for less than 17 to 21 cents per bulb?
Thank you. Erin

    Bookmark   April 27, 2005 at 12:03PM
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anniew(4-5/PA) has glads much cheaper, but you have to buy in case lots. For 10/12, the case has 1000 and costs 8.1 cents apiece plus shipping. for 12/14, cases are 750, and the price is 9.9. 14/16 are 500 per case at 11.7, and 16/+ are 400 to a case at 13.5 cents.
Don't kill yourselves on that one!!!
They also have decent lily prices, again by the case.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2005 at 12:30PM
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Done with finals and shipping! Now on to wreath making and transplanting, since nothing will happen outside with another 7 days of rain coming. I am sooo over this rain..

    Bookmark   April 27, 2005 at 8:39PM
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Last week, I was in shorts and a tank top seeding my native perrenials. Today, I was wearing my insulated coveralls, hunting boots, a wool hat and gloves while driving the tractor tilling some new beds as it snowed on me. Oh yeah, there was a 20 mph wind blowing that gave us a 19 degree windchill. Man I love the midwest, most of the time.

I'll take yor rain Bryan, the snow is a little too much.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2005 at 10:59PM
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kristenmarie(Z4-5/New Mexico)

Wow , we got 2 inches of rain in 48 hours on Sunday-Monday-- our roof started leaking, what a nightmare. But it's good for the flowers (and the garlic) (and the 3,000 onions we just planted). We've never had a wet year like this one, in my memory.

I'm more or less frantic at the moment because I FOOLISHLY agreed, a couple of months ago, to go on a five-day trip with a friend this weekend that I simply couldn't back out of, so I'm trying to set up everything so my husband can take care of it all... just crazy. If he lets my trays dry out, I don't know what I'll do... I spent today frantically transplanting into bigger pots, etc etc.

Jeanne, thanks for the AMG recommendation-- I forget about them for some reason. I got great tulips from them 2 years ago.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2005 at 12:21AM
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Bob_Piper(NE Oklahoma)

Tonight looks like another close brush with a damaging frost in N.E. Oklahoma. Forecast for our town is 34F. and out in the creek bottom timber where we live it's usually a bit colder than in town. What a strange Spring!
Ann, I just couldn't stand it, I ordered a bunch more lilies from Gloeckner a couple of days ago. A case of cutters and several different "pot" varieties.
Spent yesterday shirtless and on my knees preparing a raised bed and seeding it with Pro Cut sunflowers. Thats probably what made the bottom fall out of the thermometer. Thats Oklahoma in the day shirtless and the next bundled up and freezing.
I had a bunch of Liatris in that bed and I have dug and seperated them and replanted into gallon pots which I will sell at the market as they bloom.
Got to go turn up the thermostat....


    Bookmark   April 29, 2005 at 10:31AM
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Noni Morrison

Well, I finally got some more of my seedlings in the groud in a light rain that ought to do them a world of good. TOday I planted out feeathertop pennisetum, Campus Apricot cosmos (Seems studier then the yellow one), My "Sweet" dianthus, My Mystery Dianthus from DH's Japanese friends (printing in JApanese!) and my Blue bouquet Delphinium. HAd just time to sprinkle slug bait before dark, as I Am keeping the ducks away until the seedlings take hold. I Also got some things moved int ot he greenhouse to harden off as I Am keeping my starting room pretty warm with the ducklings in it. (1 blue runner, 4 white crested, and 2 flying mallards.) DH changed their litte tonight so now all is sweet and clean!

After the dry dry winter we have been having very normal April showers here. I like it!

TOmorrow I need to plant out all my lilies I Planted into pots. SOme are 30" tall and several have buds set. THey should have gone out weeks ago but I have been too busy t trying to do it all myself. Getting my son to haul compost for me is really helping but he is under treatment fo r asthma right now so not sure how much to ask of him...he is a very frail young man, but a very good companion.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 12:09AM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

Bob, what are you doing with my weather??? That's perfectly normal here, summertime-warm during the day and freezing that night. Welcome to the Rockies! - but I never knew they were in Oklahoma.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 4:20PM
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