Flower Farmer book help

KrazyKim(z5 MI)June 27, 2005

Hi, I'am reading the Organic Flower Farmer book. In there she has suggestions for the "best" cut flowers but I recall someone saying that they were "dated." She also has suggestions for cutting beds, both annual and periennials. If any of you have read this and can recall, is there anything you would add, replace or remove? I'am in mid Michigan, and away from the cool Great Lakes. Thank you so much :)


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Any book that is published can be expected to take two or more years from start to finish, so any material in a book may be outdated. Yet there are standards in cut flowers which no one can do without. Unless you keep up with monthly publications which are more current, or belong to the Association for Specialty Cut Flowers and have access to their publications, starting with the recommendations in the book should be a good beginning.
However, there are also regional differences which include not only climate, soils, etc., but also customer preferences to take into consideration. Expecting to find the perfect formula is not realistic. Experience is the best teacher. The larger growers have to be aware of trends and their own markets to constantly tweak their product mix.
How's that for a non-answer to your question?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 7:22AM
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goodscents(z5 MI)

I have that book and found it quite helpful. There are probably newer varieties of certain plants that may make the book dated - new pollenless sunflowers etc. - but I don't grow many species of plants she does not discuss. Maybe whoever said it was dated can elaborate.

The author is in Kansas which is hotter and drier than our climate (I'm in SE Michigan) and you have to take that into account. For example, she talks about delphiniums being difficult depending on climate. Delphiniums don't like hot summers and probably don't grow well in Kansas, but they will grow fine for you here.

Experience is the best teacher. You just have to dive in and start! Then, ask questions to figure out what went wrong when you fail and take good notes to remember what you did when you succeed. Have fun!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 7:32AM
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Well, Kim, it's like the little black dress. It's basic. Lynn covers all the basic flowers in her book. Like Kirk mentioned, there are new cultivars for some of the flowers. Many of the flowers we grow for market, are listed in the book. We also grow grasses, wheat, oat, millet, sorghum and other fillers that may not be listed in the book. And, as Ann said, you will have to keep up with monthly publications for new trends in plants and color. Keep in touch late fall when growers on this forum start discussing what they grew and if it worked for them. Also, we had a thread this past winter discussing what we intended to grow this season. Lots of ideas. So, jump in, gets those hands dirty, and start with some of those basics. It's called, Sweat Equity. Isn't it?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 8:51PM
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KrazyKim(z5 MI)

Ahh, sweat......yes. Those of us in Michigan lately no the meaning of that word, yuck. Thank you for your suggestions, I was going to use the authors guideline to put in a specific annual bed and practice with it. I guess it wouldn't hurt to put "newbies" in my main flowerbeds just to see how they do and if they deserve an area of they're own. Flowerfarmer: the grasses and wheat/fillers.....can that be grown in a small area? Thanks again, Ann, Kirk and FF. I want to subscribe to something at some point but right now, if it isn't at the library or online, I'm not getting it, lol.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 6:22AM
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Kim, What size area are we talking about here? The wheat likes to be out in the field in the hot sunny location. We have ornamental grasses growing in many different locations. We just can never have enough of that. And, of course, there are other nice fillers. My favorite of the moment is ammi majus. It's so pretty in the bouquets this week. And, we continue to sweat in this Michigan heat......

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 5:16PM
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KrazyKim(z5 MI)

Flowerfarmer: We have just under 3 acres. We could "possibly" have a chance to buy acreage around us. The plan is to utilize at least 1/2 acre to start.
However, my dh has a deer feeder out back and planted it with rye. Wondering if we could do wheat or the like instead????
Oooh, I want the Ammi majus stuff.....so pretty. I was out scouring the field next door for Queene Anne's lace today but no luck yet.
I'm grounded from buying any more anything that grows or can potentially grow for a while, lol. men..........

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 11:01PM
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