I'm a straight to the point person. So writing blogs are not always fun, but what i find excruciating is reading a blog, only to find the source of information I was looking for at the very last paragraph. So here are my fails and wins, as a first time flower farmer, in Bullet Form. You are welcome. :)
FAIL: The spacing that all farmers recommend are there for a reason. I learnt the hard way and spaced everything at 6 inches apart. Including, DARA AMMI (recommended 12-18") and COSMOS (recommended 12"). Those two needed a lot more space. After one heavy rain, it weighed down those two so heavily that they broke the netting, and I could never regain their composure for the rest of the season. It was a loss. So... - LISTEN TO THE MASTERS!
WIN: We invested in a 3 day mentorship program (that occurred throughout the year) with Gina from She Grows Gardens in Arvada CO. After my very first class with her, I left confident and determined. There really is nothing better than knowing someone with the knowledge to help you has your back. She guided us every step, and was quick to answer any questions that came up. - FIND YOURSELF A MENTOR.
FAIL: Nolo Bait! We were at Harlequin Gardens in Boulder County, CO. And I spotted Nolo Bait, had it in my cart, but did not end up getting it, thinking I could grab some later. What a terrible Idea. Nolo Bait - A target-specific pathogen which infests Grasshoppers through natural means was sold out shortly afterwards in the whole country! We had a lot of grasshoppers! - LISTEN TO YOUR GUT.
WIN: Interns. Shortly, into the year, I found myself pregnant and sick. And was considering throwing all the work we invested out and count our losses for the year. But under the Mentorship mentioned above, Gina spoke about how she ran an internship. We posted on our local Nextdoor, asking if there was anyone interested in working on a flower farm for an hour, and in return, I'd teach them what I have learnt for an hour. Every slot was quickly filled, and they brought energy when I had none. That one hour a week on the farm filled by 10 ladies, kept all my weeds under control, and my flowers and soul doing well! - PEOPLE LOVE TO HELP!
Fail: There is a reason we are told to corral/net, and to do it early! With our strong Colorado winds, I found myself out in the field holding my corn up being a human corral instead of taking the proactive choice and doing it before a storm. We lost plants and many many flowers including dahlia to my lack of corralling. - BE PROACTIVE.
WIN: This one may be the most major. Under the guide of Gina again, she recommended I drop off a bucket of flowers with a florist I had been chatting too. It was so nerve wrecking. I was not sure how to cut, or delivery, or what the expectations were. I said a brief, hello, and the amazing Christianne from CV Flowers in Frederick responded with, I've been wanting to connect with local growers, and I'll take a bucket from you every week, starting this week. My heart was OVERJOYED! - TAKE THE CHANCE!
Hope these pointers inspire and encourage you on your journey. You can do it! Love Liz