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Old May 10, 2018   #1
PureHarvest's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,295
Default PH's 2018 Cutflower Trial

So I wanted to document my hand at cutflowers this year.
I am doing Sunflowers, Karma Dahlias, and 4 types of coneflowers.
Not putting pressure on myself to market these like it's my job, cause it's not.
I just want to see if I can get the production side down and take it from there.
I hope to sell enough to cover costs (which are minimal) and establish relationships with buyers and see what is possible for 2019.

Got my Karma Dahlia plugs yesterday from Gloekner's. Nicest plugs I've ever seen. Very pleased. Hope to plant them today when I get home from work. I have 576 to do, but the spot is prepped and the root plug is only about the size of an adult male's thumb. I hope to just push them into the soil through the holes in my fabric (no trowel or auger with the drill which takes more time). Well' see.

Here are some pics:

Dahlia Bed ready to plant. The bed on the left has since had the holes burned in for the middle row. All the way to the left outside the tunnel, you can see the ends of the two beds that have 2 types of coneflowers:

5-5-18 dahlias.JPG

Sunflower beds. 1st 100' row was planted 2 saturdays ago, Up in 7 days. Can't see them though in this pic. Left bed is still in last year's strawberries, but I am doing sowings every 2 weeks, so I have a month to get it turned over. I still have two rows to plant in the bed on the right.
To the left, you can see the ends of two beds with wood chips that have the other 2 types of coneflowers I planted:

5-5-18 sunflowers.JPG

Dahlia packaging:

5-9-18 dahlia pkg2.JPG

Karma Dahlia Flat:

5-9-18 dahlia flat.JPG

All 8 flats of karmas:

5-9-18 dahlia flats.JPG

Close up of one plug:

5-9-18 plug.JPG

Both the Dahlia and Sunflower areas will get a single layer of plastic over the beds on the caterpillar tunnel frame to keep rain etc from beating up the plants and spreading disease. Drip tape on each row in the beds. Beds 3' wide with 3 rows in each bed 1' apart. Sunflowers every 6", Dahlias every foot.
Both crops got 20lbs of actual nitrogen applied via 4-1-8 chicken manure based fert before planting. Will drip feed the Dahlias with calcium nitrate but not the Sunflowers.

Last edited by PureHarvest; May 10, 2018 at 01:10 PM.
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