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Old January 30, 2018   #1
FourOaks
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Default 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?
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Old January 30, 2018   #2
Cole_Robbie
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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.

Last edited by Cole_Robbie; January 30, 2018 at 10:30 PM.
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Old January 30, 2018   #3
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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.
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Old January 31, 2018   #4
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Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
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.
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.

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Originally Posted by clkeiper View Post
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.
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.
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Old January 31, 2018   #5
Andrey_BY
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Strawberry Blond marigolds looks fantastic!
But they are not available here yet
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Old January 31, 2018   #6
FourOaks
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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.
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.

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Strawberry Blond marigolds looks fantastic!
But they are not available here yet
Well, that stinks.
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Old January 31, 2018   #7
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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?
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Old January 31, 2018   #8
FourOaks
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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.
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.

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Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
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.
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.

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Those marigolds look nice, I somehow missed those. Can I fit anything else in?
Sure, gotta make room.
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Old January 31, 2018   #9
FourOaks
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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?
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Old January 31, 2018   #10
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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.
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Old January 31, 2018   #11
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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.
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. http://www.jrpeters.com/products_/16...-mum-feed.html

Last edited by BigVanVader; January 31, 2018 at 11:15 AM.
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Old January 31, 2018   #12
FourOaks
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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.
Gottcha

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Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
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.
I understand that. My wholesaler, you can take your time going into each greenhouse and grabbing whatever you like.

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Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
Oh and I use this fertilizer. It is very concentrated and cn be diluted for use on many flowers. http://www.jrpeters.com/products_/16...-mum-feed.html
Thanks! Ill check that out.
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Old January 31, 2018   #13
FourOaks
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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.
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Old January 31, 2018   #14
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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.
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Old January 31, 2018   #15
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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.
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