Many people ask me, do you grow in the winter?
The short answer is no. It would not be profitable to run heat all winter in my greenhouses. But there are still things to do.
So what do I do? I start by evaluating the past season. I put orders together for: seeds, plugs, and bulbs based on last years’ successes, sales, and struggles. I create market strategies for the next season. I fix broken items. I organize the greenhouse, basement and studio, write blog posts, organize wedding photos and submit them to wedding blogs.
Right now, I am cutting down our heirloom mums in the cold frame and mulching what remains with wood chips. This season I grew about 70 mums in crates (in addition to the 3″x65″ row in cold frame) which I am burying in the cold frame, and then covering the crates with bark chip.
Any days I can work outside I do. I’m trying to lay drip line for perennials and weeding perennials.
This winter I have to install a walk-in cooler. So I am making room in my studio for that and will start putting it together soon.
Wedding inquires come in flushes and I write custom proposals for those, as well as meet with clients to discuss their plans and ideas and help formulate their floral design dreams into reality.
I do have bulbs in the ground in the cold frame that need watering once a month. And in December I will start my ranunculus corms and stock seed which I plant in crates and grow under LED Lights. This makes the actual growing season begin sooner next year.
Starting at the end of January I put about 10 seed varieties in the house under lights. This season I am going to start a few dahlias to start taking cuttings from to enlarge my supply of Lilian Hamiltons’.. the coveted peach.
Once we reach February, actual production is starting to ramp up again. The days are significantly lighter. I am evaluating temperatures to start planting in the cold frame. I am selling dahlia tubers to ship in March, which means they all need to be divided and organized. This is my second year doing this so it should go more smoothly.
March 1 I usually open the greenhouse to start seeding. Though last year I pushed it back 2 weeks because cost of fuel was so high and weather was so cold I just felt it was a waste of money to start the season so early.
So its really a pretty short break: 3 months or so. And I am glad for the rest but a part of my spirit dies in the winter because I am so connected to the soil and earth. I am hoping in years to come that I can go to farm/s in warmer climates and help them for a month for room and board. Just to get a break from the harsh winter and the feeling of being buried by snow.