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-   -   Flower Plans Spring 2018 Who else is in.. (http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=46570)

FourOaks January 30, 2018 08:27 PM

Flower Plans Spring 2018 Who else is in..
 
Each year for the Farmers Market, I do a few flowers. This year, after doing a lot of reading on here, and else where, I have decided to up my offerings.

Also, hoping for the first time to have Flowers ready for the Mothers Day folks.

So my plan involves Sunny Smile Dwarf Sunflowers, Thumbelina Dwarf Zinnias, and Strawberry Blonde Marigolds (which I first saw here). Also, would like to get back to doing the Wave Petunia Baskets, that I have done previously.

I need to look into a fertilizer plan to keep these looking there best. So im all ears for recommendations. I have used liquid fertilizers in the past with so-so results. Maybe a granular slo-release in combination would be better?

With all that being said, the dwarf flowers will go in 5 inch Azalea Pots that my wholesaler offers. Waves will of course be in hanging baskets.

My plan is to start seeds on Feb 15 for Mothers Day, and then another possible sowing later on.. Looks like I need about 60 or so days until bloom, trying to hedge my bets.

Anyone else considering their options?

Cole_Robbie January 30, 2018 08:48 PM

You probably got that marigold suggestion from me. I hope you do well with them. Leaf miners liked to chew on mine. I think all zinnias are susceptible to powdery mildew. I learned not to leave wet plants in the back of the truck overnight. I'm not using Sevin dust any more, because washing it off is a pain.

I like Osmocote. I have also used the much cheaper Schultz pelleted time release fertilizer, and it seems to do fine as well.

The hardest challenge for me is to plant each week what I will sell in one saturday, about 6-8 weeks down the road, which means a little bit of everything. I tend to go overboard and plant too much of one thing at one time.

clkeiper January 30, 2018 09:00 PM

Yes to the slow release. I mix in osmocote and I also fertilize with an injector when I water. I do petunias, begonias, a few hanging tomatoes, fuchsias, combination hanging baskets... whatever I can get for materials whether by rooted cuttings or by seed. I started begonias in December. they are about the size of my fingernail right now. they take a long time.

FourOaks January 30, 2018 11:33 PM

[QUOTE=Cole_Robbie;680604]You probably got that marigold suggestion from me. I hope you do well with them. Leaf miners liked to chew on mine. I think all zinnias are susceptible to powdery mildew. I learned not to leave wet plants in the back of the truck overnight. I'm not using Sevin dust any more, because washing it off is a pain.

I like Osmocote. I have also used the much cheaper Schultz pelleted time release fertilizer, and it seems to do fine as well.

The hardest challenge for me is to plant each week what I will sell in one saturday, about 6-8 weeks down the road, which means a little bit of everything. I tend to go overboard and plant too much of one thing at one time.[/QUOTE]

You absolutely deserve credit, in regards to the Marigolds! I have grown the standard Marigolds, but the Strawberry Blond will be something new.

I understand fully about the planting conundrum. I have a notebook full of notes, when and what to plant. Its a task, keeping track of veggie plants for production, for sales, and then pile on the flowers. Then, taking into account field growing, and Greenhouse/High Tunnel growing. DTM.... it can be a bit much.

Last year I just kept taking my stuff to the Market. Saturday after Saturday. I eventually got rid of most of it. The way I see it, if you dont take it, you cant sell it. Seeds are cheap, and I have no reservations about sterilizing the soil and plastic, if need be. Ill get my moneys worth out of them. :cute:

[QUOTE=clkeiper;680606]Yes to the slow release. I mix in osmocote and I also fertilize with an injector when I water. I do petunias, begonias, a few hanging tomatoes, fuchsias, combination hanging baskets... whatever I can get for materials whether by rooted cuttings or by seed. I started begonias in December. they are about the size of my fingernail right now. they take a long time.[/QUOTE]

So you both recommend Osmocote. I assume just the regular, not the plus?

And that brings up this - im certainly no expert, but I thought in general flowering plants prefer a fertilizer with more phosphorous? There seems to be a heavy debate on this. Unlike vegetable plant studies, I havent been able to find any papers on the topic. Nothing credible anyways.

clkeiper, you specificly mention your use of an injector in addition to the slo-release. Is there a point at which you just use clean water? Im sure it takes several waterings to get the slo-release to start dissolving, and I can understand using a liquid fertilizer in the beginning until the slo-release takes over.

Im not trying to over complicate, just wanting to clarify.

Andrey_BY January 30, 2018 11:47 PM

Strawberry Blond marigolds looks fantastic!
But they are not available here yet:no:
[IMG]http://www.burpee.com/dw/image/v2/ABAQ_PRD/on/demandware.static/-/Sites-masterCatalog_Burpee/default/dwd1120a0b/Images/Product%20Images/prod100031/prod100031.jpg?sw=322&sh=380&sm=fit[/IMG]

FourOaks January 30, 2018 11:58 PM

[QUOTE=FourOaks;680626]
clkeiper, you specificly mention your use of an injector in addition to the slo-release. Is there a point at which you just use clean water? [B]Im sure it takes several waterings to get the slo-release to start dissolving, and I can understand using a liquid fertilizer in the beginning until the slo-release takes over.[/B]

Im not trying to over complicate, just wanting to clarify.[/QUOTE]

Well, I may have found an answer. According to the mfr. of Osmocote, you shouldnt store wet media and Osmocote for longer then 7-10 days, because it will be activated.

[QUOTE=Andrey_BY;680629]Strawberry Blond marigolds looks fantastic!
But they are not available here yet:no:
[IMG]http://www.burpee.com/dw/image/v2/ABAQ_PRD/on/demandware.static/-/Sites-masterCatalog_Burpee/default/dwd1120a0b/Images/Product%20Images/prod100031/prod100031.jpg?sw=322&sh=380&sm=fit[/IMG][/QUOTE]

Well, that stinks.

BigVanVader January 31, 2018 08:21 AM

I'm also growing a lot more flowers/plants this year. We have a fairly big co-op grocery store buying from us this year so I'm doubling down on plants. Going to use a lot more purchased plugs this year b/c it is just easier and a faster turn around, but I am still seeding many things.

Dwarf Sunflowers are a main focus as they all sold fast last year. This year I'm doing around 600. Dwarf zinnias as well, a few hundred. Several hundred hanging baskets, of all different things, Mums again in fall. Doing some cool little basil plants that look like little round hedges. Borage, Tropical milkweed, bee balm, and other pollinator flowers. Going to package them as a Bee friendly flower garden. Another vendor who sells honey and all kinds of soaps/lotions etc from honey is going to help me advertise it. Plan is to make more in the first 3 months of the season than all of last year.

Those marigolds look nice, I somehow missed those. Can I fit anything else in? :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:

FourOaks January 31, 2018 09:49 AM

[QUOTE=BigVanVader;680663]I'm also growing a lot more flowers/plants this year. We have a fairly big co-op grocery store buying from us this year so I'm doubling down on plants. Going to use a lot more purchased plugs this year b/c it is just easier and a faster turn around, but I am still seeding many things. [/QUOTE]

Makes sense. If you can grow from seed, go for it. Otherwise plugs are the way. Doesnt hurt to try, seeds are cheap, but have a backup.

The first year that I did Wave baskets I ordered my seeds from Harris Seeds. They were a gorgeous Lavender, which it looks like they no longer have, but very similar to "Shock Wave Pink Vein F1". I knew from experience that NOBODY was growing anything like that. The baskets that I took to the Market sold out ASAP. Problem was my success rate with those seeds. Out of 100 seeds, I think about 15 survived. :lol:

[QUOTE=BigVanVader;680663]Dwarf Sunflowers are a main focus as they all sold fast last year. This year I'm doing around 600. Dwarf zinnias as well, a few hundred. Several hundred hanging baskets, of all different things, Mums again in fall. Doing some cool little basil plants that look like little round hedges. Borage, Tropical milkweed, bee balm, and other pollinator flowers. Going to package them as a Bee friendly flower garden. Another vendor who sells honey and all kinds of soaps/lotions etc from honey is going to help me advertise it. Plan is to make more in the first 3 months of the season than all of last year. [/QUOTE]

Thats a load of flowers! I have seen the basil your talking about but cant remember off the top of my head the variety.

Partnering with the Bee People is a darn good idea.

I read the thread about the mums. I believe that you ordered from NCFarms?? How did you like them? They are about 1.5 hours from me, would be faster if not for the Charlotte traffic. A wholesaler that I use is just across the VA/NC border, which is a little closer. A whole lot less traffic at any rate. I really like them but open to other suppliers.

In the end, making money is certainly the goal. 2016/2017 I built a second GH/Hightunnel, after reading and rereading exactly what AKMark is doing. I scaled it way down for my purposes. The GH is 24x24 and I can fit in 72 tomatoes, 2 stems to a 5 gallon bag. In the center I did cucumbers.

That GH pumped out the tomatoes, and pumped in the cash. Until disease and heat got the better of them. The first 4 weeks of my market I made more then the previous year, period.

[QUOTE=BigVanVader;680663]Those marigolds look nice, I somehow missed those. Can I fit anything else in? :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:[/QUOTE]

Sure, gotta make room.

FourOaks January 31, 2018 09:51 AM

Vader...

Im just curious, how did you do the Zinnias? Did you do plugs and transplant or did you direct sow?

How many per pot?

BigVanVader January 31, 2018 10:09 AM

I direct sow into 50 cell plug trays and transplant at bud stage. I buy them as a mix so I like to let them bud to determine the color before transplanting.

BigVanVader January 31, 2018 10:12 AM

[QUOTE]I read the thread about the mums. I believe that you ordered from NCFarms?? How did you like them? They are about 1.5 hours from me, would be faster if not for the Charlotte traffic. A wholesaler that I use is just across the VA/NC border, which is a little closer. A whole lot less traffic at any rate. I really like them but open to other suppliers.[/QUOTE]

That was Cole that ordered online. I have a local plug supplier that I got mine from. A small grower like me that is cheap and has a huge variety of stuff. About an hour drive but I like to look at the stuff before I buy.

Oh and I use this fertilizer. It is very concentrated and cn be diluted for use on many flowers. [url]http://www.jrpeters.com/products_/16491/17592-jack-s-professional/16311-22-5-16-mum-feed.html[/url]

FourOaks January 31, 2018 12:07 PM

[QUOTE=BigVanVader;680675]I direct sow into 50 cell plug trays and transplant at bud stage. I buy them as a mix so I like to let them bud to determine the color before transplanting.[/QUOTE]

Gottcha

[QUOTE=BigVanVader;680677]That was Cole that ordered online. I have a local plug supplier that I got mine from. A small grower like me that is cheap and has a huge variety of stuff. About an hour drive but I like to look at the stuff before I buy.[/QUOTE]

I understand that. My wholesaler, you can take your time going into each greenhouse and grabbing whatever you like.

[QUOTE=BigVanVader;680677]Oh and I use this fertilizer. It is very concentrated and cn be diluted for use on many flowers. [URL]http://www.jrpeters.com/products_/16491/17592-jack-s-professional/16311-22-5-16-mum-feed.html[/URL][/QUOTE]

Thanks! Ill check that out.

FourOaks January 31, 2018 12:35 PM

I forgot that Jacks also offers other fertilizers, such as the Petunia Feed. Which I might have to try again, along with the Mum Feed.

Might have to get some barrels to mix in, or something. I currently use an IBC Tote with a shallow pump to feed my Maters and Peppers. For that I use Masterblend.

Speaking of Petunias, I was doing some research earlier. Looks like I might have been short changing them on the humidity front. I found a research paper on commercial production, looks like they recommend 65-75 degrees with 50% humidity for grow out. Not too mention 100% for germ.

I have been doing experiments this year with increased RH for my pepper plants. Seems promising.

Cole_Robbie January 31, 2018 12:55 PM

NC Farms sent me smashed plants, by the way. Maybe Fedex smashed them on the trip, I don't know. Mum plugs snap easily at the base, but take several days to die. They looked ok when I got them; it took me a while to realize the tops of most of them were going to die off. I had ordered from the last shipment of the season, so I thought there was no point in trying to get a replacement. Their minimum order of one variety is 35 plugs, and that is too much for me.

Regarding fertilizers, nitrogen is the first of the elements to leech out, which might be why most of them have a higher N number.

clkeiper January 31, 2018 01:08 PM

I run the injector for the whole season. on occasion I turn it off. I usually run 200ppm give or take a few... I don't measure with a scale.... usually ~ 1# to 5 gallon water and change fertilizers throughout the life cycle of the produce. I use Millers fertilizer for most of the vegetables.

and Jacks petunia (w/iron) food for the hanging baskets house for the whole season.

FourOaks January 31, 2018 01:12 PM

Im not sure what to think of NC Farms to be honest. I have contacted them via phone, honestly, I didnt care for the person I spoke to. Acted like I was a burden since I wasnt interested in 1000 trays of whatever. Im willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt... maybe they were just having a bad day.

As far as Mums go I need to contact my supplier in VA. Their online catalog just lists 8 inch, 10 inch, etc. I dont see anywhere that they offer plugs. Which is actually ok by me. For the price they include plant, soil, and pot. Seems like a win-win.

I just need to determine how long till they are finished.

FourOaks January 31, 2018 01:13 PM

[QUOTE=clkeiper;680703]I run the injector for the whole season. on occasion I turn it off. I usually run 200ppm give or take a few... I don't measure with a scale.... usually ~ 1# to 5 gallon water and change fertilizers throughout the life cycle of the produce. I use Millers fertilizer for most of the vegetables.

and Jacks petunia (w/iron) food for the hanging baskets house for the whole season.[/QUOTE]

Awesome! Thanks a bunch!

BigVanVader January 31, 2018 03:39 PM

[QUOTE=FourOaks;680704]Im not sure what to think of NC Farms to be honest. I have contacted them via phone, honestly, I didnt care for the person I spoke to. Acted like I was a burden since I wasnt interested in 1000 trays of whatever. Im willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt... maybe they were just having a bad day.

As far as Mums go I need to contact my supplier in VA. Their online catalog just lists 8 inch, 10 inch, etc. I dont see anywhere that they offer plugs. Which is actually ok by me. For the price they include plant, soil, and pot. Seems like a win-win.

I just need to determine how long till they are finished.[/QUOTE]

I'd ask some other growers about where they get their mum plugs, gotta be somebody near you that sells em. Mine were $25 per 50 plugs. Almost all local owned garden center/nursery places buy plugs for everything and will know the best place.

Salsacharley January 31, 2018 04:16 PM

Do any of y'all have a picture of your hanging baskets? I'd sure like to check out what you're doing.

FourOaks January 31, 2018 04:33 PM

[QUOTE=BigVanVader;680727]I'd ask some other growers about where they get their mum plugs, gotta be somebody near you that sells em. Mine were $25 per 50 plugs. Almost all local owned garden center/nursery places buy plugs for everything and will know the best place.[/QUOTE]

Im afraid they would say NC Farms. :lol:

But your correct about asking around. Or better, I could just call my supplier and see. Maybe Ill call them tomorrow. Maybe I should go ahead and do the math as well. Based on about 50 cents a plug.

[QUOTE=Salsacharley;680732]Do any of y'all have a picture of your hanging baskets? I'd sure like to check out what you're doing.[/QUOTE]

I looked thru my pics and could only find this one. This is probably 2 years ago. The way I can tell is because of the covering on the greenhouse. Not your standard clear film. And I know these were NOT the beautiful lavender ones I spoke of earlier.

This is very early on. Its hard to tell due to lighting, but the basket is tan.

[IMG]https://i.imgur.com/BXeg5ASl.jpg[/IMG]

Salsacharley January 31, 2018 04:40 PM

That's great! Thanks for sharing.

FourOaks January 31, 2018 05:01 PM

[QUOTE=Salsacharley;680739]That's great! Thanks for sharing.[/QUOTE]

Your very welcome.

So Mums, I did some quick and dirty math. Assuming I can get plugs for around 50 cents each, and use my standard soil mix, with a standard 8 inch mum pan, my total comes in at $1.39. This does not include fertilizer though. My supplier does 8 inch pots for $2.50 (im assuming that price is still the current price).

So at least I have a backup. Ill call tomorrow to find out if:

1. They plan to have plugs
2. Cost (obviously)
3. Fert. Sched.
4. Pinching or No Pinching
5. Finishing time.

Did I miss anything?

I want to get this done now, instead of waiting. Cause that is what happens to me every year. I keep telling my Wife.. I need to do Mums! Then I forget.

BigVanVader January 31, 2018 05:21 PM

Here is an idea of how to mix HB's. I get catalogs from several places like this and they all have pre-mixed combos you can order. I had a list of the best sellers state by state somewhere but cant find it atm. [url]http://www.pwfourstar.com/bundled-combos[/url]

FourOaks January 31, 2018 05:28 PM

[QUOTE=BigVanVader;680747]Here is an idea of how to mix HB's. I get catalogs from several places like this and they all have pre-mixed combos you can order. I had a list of the best sellers state by state somewhere but cant find it atm. [URL]http://www.pwfourstar.com/bundled-combos[/URL][/QUOTE]

Well, aint that helpful.

Good info right there.

FourOaks January 31, 2018 08:15 PM

So earlier Van posted a link to the Jacks Mum Feed, and clkeiper mentioned about using Jacks Petunia Feed.

I then remembered that I had a container of Petunia Feed. The small 1.5 pound containers. I opened it up and the inner pack was unopened. I guess I bought it and forgot about it.

I decided to mix a 1 gallon batch to see what the PPM is. Which is something I dont understand. Why do they not include that on the big package. They include the Nitrogen PPM, and how to mix by the gallon, and using an injector, but thats it.

What if you want to mix say a 55 gallon drum? Are you supposed to measure that out by the spoonful? Which incidentally if you use a tsp to a gallon, thats 1.14583 cups.

So I decided for the sake of curiosity, I wanted to know the total PPM.

My trusty Blue Lab Truncheon reported that 1 tsp to a gallon equaled 400-500 PPM, and 1 TBSP to a gallon of water equals 1000 PPM.

One of the problems I ran into, how to actually measure the fertilizer? Its semi moist in the package. Do you pack it like Brown Sugar? Or do you loose fill, like when you measure Flour?

FourOaks January 31, 2018 08:59 PM

Well, after a little looking I came across this online calc. vs using formulas.

[url]http://green-drop-home.com/orchidswp/en/calculator-ppm-for-hydroponic-fertilizer-solutions/[/url]

According to the calculator, a 20% nitrogen fertilizer at 1 tsp per gallon should yield a Nitrogen PPM of 264 and a TDS of 599. 1 TBSP would yield a Nitrogen PPM of 792 and a TDS of 1797.

So my method of measuring the teaspoons earlier were quite faulty. Evidently.

clkeiper January 31, 2018 09:05 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I buy rooted cuttings from a supplier near me. that said... I take what I can get because you need to give a grower 15 weeks lead time to order specific plants. I am never ready to order in October when I should be. I am still in the garden or high tunnel working. I buy whatever she has for extras from other peoples orders. I try to get there early and start my baskets by mid feb.... if the cuttings are big enough or maybe I am seeing a bit of color before planting up. some colors just don't look right together and others aren't what you expect.. I hate mismatched colors. even the combinations that the big suppliers put together? gag! some of them are not pretty at all. weird color combinations.

Don't get carried away trying to get too fancy. too many colors or too much stuff. give it a main color a secondary color in a smaller flower and a foliage with odd texture or color. somthing that trails. somethings grow really slow or really shrubby. know what the mature shape is before putting it all together. usually a 10" hanging basket will need 3 main flowers and 3 more plants...
3 secondary and a texture... such as a petunia variety- a callibrochia variety and a tiny flower such as bacopa or a texture such as licorice vine or dichondra. I also hate white hanging baskets. I buy only brown. (these baskets are from a couple years ago. I had a few extra white ones donated to me so I used them up. I tried green too. I like the brown the best. which of course is a personal preference. do what works for you.

Cole_Robbie January 31, 2018 09:11 PM

Nice work, Carolyn. Those baskets are very pretty.

FourOaks January 31, 2018 09:15 PM

Very nice indeed.

BigVanVader January 31, 2018 09:20 PM

Very nice! Same here, my guy has what he has and I just pick from it. He also sells HB' s that are full grown so it helps to see what he mixes and copy it. I'm colorblind so sometimes flower mixing is a challenge. My sister is great at though and helps guide me.


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