Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

Discuss your tips, tricks and experiences growing and selling vegetables, fruits, flowers, plants and herbs.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #46
clkeiper
Tomatovillian™
 
clkeiper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ohio
Posts: 3,824
Default

can you give us an update on how this project turned out for you? was it worth your time financially?
__________________
carolyn k
clkeiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #47
Cole_Robbie
Tomatovillian™
 
Cole_Robbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Illinois, zone 6
Posts: 8,131
Default

I'm sure PH did better with dahlias than me. Now I see why they require such careful care. They grow much, much more slowly than the grass and weeds. Mine also all got brown rot of the flowers, probably from poor ventilation. I would guess they also require periodic fungicide, at least in my climate. This explains why I don't know anyone locally who grows them.

Cut flowers have been too much work for too little money for me. I am going back to tomatoes next year.
Cole_Robbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #48
clkeiper
Tomatovillian™
 
clkeiper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ohio
Posts: 3,824
Default

Yes cut flowers are an enormous amount of work. Just like vegetables they have their own particular needs and if we missed the details we lose the crop. Whenever I have anybody complain about how much something costs, I tell them feel free to go grow it.
__________________
carolyn k
clkeiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #49
greenthumbomaha
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Omaha Zone 5
Posts: 1,871
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
I'm sure PH did better with dahlias than me. Now I see why they require such careful care. They grow much, much more slowly than the grass and weeds. Mine also all got brown rot of the flowers, probably from poor ventilation. I would guess they also require periodic fungicide, at least in my climate. This explains why I don't know anyone locally who grows them.

Cut flowers have been too much work for too little money for me. I am going back to tomatoes next year.

It was worth a try. Flowers sell very well here. Very high prices too.

What else are you thinking of growing for next year? Would specialty crops - the aji pepper line, garlic, butterhead lettuces, etc bring in a better return in your area?


- Lisa
greenthumbomaha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #50
Cole_Robbie
Tomatovillian™
 
Cole_Robbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Illinois, zone 6
Posts: 8,131
Default

Cut basil was a surprise success for me. I would like to be able to have it at every market. I also do well with plants of basil, other herbs like cilantro and dill, and sometimes greens in 4" pots. The hard part is having all of it consistently every week.

In the spring, I am going to work on getting better night-time heat for my tomato and pepper plants. I had a brutally cold spring that took out most of my plants this year.

I can sell dwarf sunflowers in pots all summer long. The market for zinnias is mostly in the spring, especially mother's day weekend. But a few plants will still sell late into the summer if they look nice. I have experimented with mixing tall celosia and short zinnias in the same planter, and that went ok. I would like to be able to employ the ideas behind flower arranging into a planter of live plants - focal point, outline break, and filler.

My tomato plan for next year is to just have one product - a color mix of saladette-sized fruits. They are much faster to pick than cherry tomatoes, and no one else is selling a product like that. I'm sure I could sell at the local co-op, too, if I had enough supply.
Cole_Robbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #51
clkeiper
Tomatovillian™
 
clkeiper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ohio
Posts: 3,824
Default

Cole, I would encourage you to keep looking for a high tunnel structure to grow in( all of ours are recycled from craigs list) .. not your little greenhouse with ventilation issues once it get hot out. that would make a world of difference for your success... whether it is cut flowers or vegetable plants.

do you have a commercial flower seed vendor? if not I would say to find one... not the catalogs every one is able to order out of but a commercial supplier who has the ability to help you when you are running into issues... such as the wanting to learn how to place plants in a basket for containers... mine sends me booklets from syngenta and other flower companies to give me ideas of which plants to put together for a successful container...which specific varieties of which series of plants go together for the whole season... not just as immature plants..

My rule is just like the fertilizer rule... "up, down' all around"... a spiky plant (can be herbs, a dracena spike, a foliage plant such as fountain grass etc... but check places like lowes at the end of your annuals growing season for clearance dracenas if you have some place to winter them over... you can't buy them cheaper wholesale. I picked up 40 of them a month ago for .50 each), a filler plant with focal and a filler plant with small flowers and a trailing plant such as potato vine, wire vine, ivy, thyme,organo...etc, and different textures for visual interest to fill a pot. I also collect unique pots at thrift stores, along the curb for basic pots sometimes, at the recycling dumpster...e tc, that is a CHEAP way to make a few bucks on a planter. I picked up a great clay pot at goodwill last week. someone had tried to paint the leaves on it green and it was hideous, but I thought maybe I could wire brush it off... but I happened to hav a can of graffiti remover in my shed, so... I sprayed it with that and used a scrub brush to soften it and make ita clear greenish border instead of the flaking ugly harsh grass green leaves... it was awesome. I bought the pot for 2 bucks filled it with some basil oregano & parsley ... i sold it for 15.00 in 4 days. I was going to toss the plants as no one has bought an herb in a month... 4 plants that were basically going to the trash, some new potting mix and a 2.00 pot... 13.00 return on my effort. the girl who stopped asked me to tell her about the planter ... I asked what she wanted to know... I told her it was 15.00...." oh I thought it would be 50.00". she handed me a 20.00 bill and told me to keep the change. so, I really made 18.00 not 13... sweet. stuff like this helps every sale you make. and a repeat customer who I told her to bring it back next Spring and I would refill it for her with the same plants if she took a picture of the planter and showed me what was in there that she wanted again. satisfied customers are you best source of advertisement... the kind of advertising you can't pay for.

anyway, I ordered my sunflowers yesterday. I will see what I can manage to do with them...I have a bag of soil moist somewhere, I wonder if that would be a wise addition to the potting mix for these or at this time of the year its not such an issue.....
I also ordered a packet of the vincent series to try... maybe I can call the florist in town who called me last week for lemon basil for a wedding bouquet... woop woop! I was able to help her, since I still had oodles of herbs left, to see if she would be interested in them if it is a success.
__________________
carolyn k

Last edited by clkeiper; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:30 AM.
clkeiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #52
PureHarvest
Tomatovillian™
 
PureHarvest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,282
Default

Been meaning to update here, and just saw the new activity.
Sunflowers were easy, good success. Shared a lot and brought into the house. Never intended on selling this years’ crop, just trialing.
Dahlias were a flop. The stems never got long enough for cutting. Bloom production was prolific but not cuttable.
Not sure if it was stunting from the powdery mildew early on, lack of a nutrient, not enuff water, spacing, or a combo of all.
The bottom line is that even if they succeeded growth-wise, I don’t have the time or desire to make the cuts, sort, bunch, and deliver.
The crop requires to much maintenance and then handling and delivering to make sense for my situation.
Like cole, I’m focusing back on tomato production next year. I have a new big tunnel that I’m adding heat to so that I can start very early and hit the early market from April to July when prices are high. I have a buyer at an auction that can take all I can grow and my dad is retired and wants to help with production AND do the delivery to the auction (an hour and 20 minute drive for him).
I am going to put a low intensity radiant tube heater in for heat which is goona hopfully keep the propane use half of what a forced hot air heater would cost. Nobody is doing this even though the technology has been around for decades. A local heating company is working with me on the design from the manufacturer and addressing all the concerns like fresh air intake, exhaust, safe clearances from the tube to materials or plants etc.
I will try to document that under the growing under cover section. There is only 3 documents on the entire internet that talks about radiant tubes for greenhouses, with a couple showing it being used in Europe. The 3rd is a 60 page guide from the manufacturer. If this works, you can say you knew me when lol. Besides the fuel use reduction, the heat is more correct for plants in that it heats like the sun, so surfaces are warmed and re-radiate so humidity is lower than when hot air is blown around causing transpiration into the air. Trying to warm air to warm the air is kinda weird when you think about how the sun creates heat. It warms the objects and surfaces, then they radiate.
Lastly, I am expanding my garlic further. I sold out in 3 weeks this year and saved back 300 lbs of bulbs to replant this fall. I am going to also plant some in my caterpillar tunnels to control how dry it is at harvest, and hopefully get the plants growing earlier in late feb/early March and see if that translates to an earlier or better harvest.
Garlic was and hopes to be my best money maker.

Last edited by PureHarvest; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:50 PM.
PureHarvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #53
clkeiper
Tomatovillian™
 
clkeiper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ohio
Posts: 3,824
Default

Ahh, sorry to hear that investment was not what you had hoped. thats sadly a waste of time materials and money.

sorry we hijacked your thread.
__________________
carolyn k
clkeiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #54
PureHarvest
Tomatovillian™
 
PureHarvest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,282
Default

Haha no problems.
I never look at this stuff as a waste. As far as time, yeah in hindsight, I could have put it to use elsewhere, but every experience gained adds to something else somehow down the road. It also adds to my confidence as a grower in general because I understand first hand what different crops take and am able to speak to what the process is like should someone want to talk shop. I work full time in an ag. and often take on an advisory roll. The more crops I have first hand experience with, the more my opinion is valued with producers and coworkers.
As far as money, I was in a place where I needed to offset money coming in from grant money, so it made the loss easier to swallow. Plus I will use the cat tunnels for garlic next year as well as the fabric.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Also, failures tend to teach better lessons.
It also helped me to refine and be realistic on what I should be doing/growing and what I need to do to (systems, infrastructure, and metods) to have time available to spend with family and friends and enjoying my part time farming gig.

Last edited by PureHarvest; 4 Weeks Ago at 05:32 PM.
PureHarvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #55
bower
Tomatovillian™
 
bower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 5,695
Default

It's been great to read about this PH, like all your other trials and experiments, I've learned a lot from you... thanks! And keep it up. And really glad to hear about the 'lens' of enjoying and sharing with family, upon the whole point of view... So right.
bower is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #56
clkeiper
Tomatovillian™
 
clkeiper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ohio
Posts: 3,824
Default

Thats a fair assessment of the experiment. gaining the knowledge instead of a crop. I am greedy... I want both.
__________________
carolyn k
clkeiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:30 AM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2017 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★