I love this time of the year because I am able to focus on gardening. As a farmer florist, I wear so many different hats: designer, sales person, crew chief, planting manager, and harvester. But it is such a nice feeling when I can focus on just a few of these roles at a time. So, currently I am the greenhouse manager, seed starter, and flower harvester.
My day revolves around checking the weather and harvesting flowers at there perfect time. Climate patterns determine whether I’ll be caring for growing seedlings, seeding more, or deciding when and what to plant in the high tunnel, cold frame or field. It feels luxurious in Vermont to be play in the dirt this time of year (when planting in cold frame in March). I couldn’t be more grateful.
There are many decisions and some risk when planting in our unheated spaces. You want to get plants in the ground as soon as possible because there is more work beyond that, and the earlier you start the more time you free up for when the ground thaws. But, if you plant too early you can risk losing a crop to cold damage. In our cold frame spaces we use tons of row cover held up by lightweight wire hoops to keep plants insulated with heat. The wire hoops prevent the row cover from weighing down onto the plants. Every day I remove the covers to let the sun feed the plants, and every night I cover them back up.
This year’s shipment of lisianthus plugs arrived mid March and another in early April. They have been planted already – this is the earliest season to date. Once our stock seedling grew six leaves they also were planted in the high tunnel and are growing strong.
The cold frame dahlia tubers are in the ground too. Currently, we are planting field dahlias.
This season I seeded a bit earlier than usual so we can have nice big husky plants to put in the ground. These are not root bound because I am using soil blocks.
As the weather has warmed this month all our dahlia tubers orders, from the online store, have been shipped. It was a great season, thanks to all of your support.
Every season I take notes and plan around the successes or mistakes of the previous year. Always pushing the boundaries. Every year it is a balancing act of risk and growth.