Tonight, Jennifer with Fancy Girl Farms joins Greg in a discussion into flower farming and how you and your children can enjoy the growing beautiful flowers all year long and make a little extra cash doing it!
What’s Up in the Veg and Flower Garden:
In the recent weeks here in southwest Georgia, there has been a lot of rain, which has put so many farmers and gardeners behind on their fall planting. With too much rain, the ground is too saturated to plant. Greg is planning on starting his turnips and mustards in the next couple of weeks. In winter cover crops, in Zone 8 you want to go ahead and start thinking about getting your cover crops in the ground between October 1st through October 15th. Greg’s favorite cover crop has always been clover. Jennifer stated that she planted red clover last year and that it did great but the white dutch clover was an issue for her. Greg suggests that Hairy Vtech and Winter Rye is the “GO-TO” mix for beginners and for those who do not know which cover crop they need to plant.
Cool Season Flowers
For the home gardener, Jennifer suggests growing Snapdragons. Snapdragons have great germination and are easy to start from seed. They take that frost great and will over-winter better than most any flower. Sweet Peas is another one that many people do not think of growing like a flower, they do require protection from the frost but when they bloom in the early spring, they don’t have much bloom time but when they do, they smell amazing and look great. Strawflowers are also one that Fancy Girl Farms is growing that is very easy to grow in the winter.
Jennifer suggests using the 5 key ingredients in flower farming while making bouquets; focal flowers, fillers, spikes, discs, and your airy flowers. Zinnias are considered a disc or focal flower depending on the time of the year. Basil is another great filler for bouquets, adds a wonderful smell and beautiful greenery. A spike flower like the salvia or any blue flower will make the bouquet pop. Celosia is also considered a “spike” flower, it will give you the color and greenery.
Making Extra Money Growing Flowers:
How kids (and you) can make some extra money, Flower Farming! It teaches kids the value of the business and getting them involved in the importance of growing. Greg asks, “What is easy to grow for the beginner”? Jennifer suggests starting with Zinnias, the Zinnia is inexpensive, great germination rate, and produces so many blooms. Sunflowers is the 2nd top flower to grow for the beginner. Sunnies can be a “one-hit wonder”, like the Pro-Cut Sunflowers. Pro-Cut produces a single stem and single bloom but with so many variations of colors, you will be a big hit at the marker. Most market farmers will get $.75 – $1.25 per stem for the sunflowers. Jennifer suggests doing a “You-Cut” day where you can be open to the public and they can cut their own sunflowers or zinnias, of course, you want to have a larger area for this. Lemon Basil and Cinnamon Basil are great to grow for bouquets; herbs, in general, are great. Think outside of the box!!
What Do You Need To Get Started:
Knowledge!! Do your research! Jennifer suggests finding a flower farmer that has been doing it a long time. Lisa Ziegler is a great one to start with, she has many books and online classes that you can take as beginners. “It truly is just learning how to start seeds and learning from there, if you can read some books and do some research before you get started, you will already be ahead of the game.”, Jennifer states. Knowing what type of nutrients they need, how much water, and have just a little patience and you will be growing in no time!
Different Ways To Sell:
Pop-Up Markets are great to have at your home. They are great for a “You-Pick” as well. Farmers Market is another good way to sell your flowers but they will take up a whole Saturday (putting up/breaking down your booth, set up, etc.) Subscriptions can be a big commitment if you aren’t careful but is another fantastic way to get flower orders.