My season as a flower farmer- Pisgah Flowers-Part 2

Planting Round 1-
Pisgah Flowers is located in the mountains of western North Carolina in south Asheville. We are in zone 6b and our average first frost free date falls on April 12th and we have an average of 195 days for a growing season. Frost free dates can be found online here. I did only direct seeded planting and once I hit the April 12th date I hit the ground planting. I made my choices based on suggestions from the book, The Flower Farmer, reading articles online and market research of nearby farms. Below is the list of my first round of seed ordering. I bought seeds from the online source, Johnny’s Select Seed.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 4.17.38 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 4.17.57 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 4.17.26 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 4.17.17 PM

I had success with most of the seeds I planted. It is an amazing process to drop seeds the size of a pin needle into the earth have a beautiful plant grow. It is the ultimate. Let go of control, plant a seed and watch it grow. Simply amazing. Below is a photo sample of some of my successful crops from the above ordered seeds.

Choice Mix Centaurea. AKA Bachelor's Button
Choice Mix Centaurea. AKA Bachelor’s Button
Chief Mix Celosia
Chief Mix Celosia
Pampas Plume Celosia
Pampas Plume Celosia
Benary's Giant Mix Zinnias
Benary’s Giant Mix Zinnias
Top left-Strawberry Blonde, Top Right- Greenburst Bottom Left- Procut Orange Bottom Right- Procut Red
Top left-Strawberry Blonde, Top Right- Greenburst Bottom Left- Procut Orange Bottom Right- Procut Red
Assorted Sunflowers. Procut Orange, Greenburst, Strawberry Blonde, Moulin Rouge, Chocolate, Procut Red, Ring of Fire
Assorted Sunflowers. Procut Orange, Greenburst, Strawberry Blonde, Moulin Rouge, Chocolate, Procut Red, Ring of Fire
Red Broom Corn- top left
Red Broom Corn- top left
Double Click Cranberry Cosmos
Double Click Cranberry Cosmos
Zinnia mix
Zinnia mix
Calendula
Calendula
Dara Ammi (False Queen Anne's Lace)
Dara Ammi (False Queen Anne’s Lace)

I didn’t have success with Nigella, Ornamental Grass, Echinacea seed, Gypsophila, Scabiosa, Phlox and Bee Balm seed. The fault more than likely lies with how I planted, where I planted or user error. However, the rest of the above seeds grew really well in my area and I would highly recommend them all.  Zinnias were my staple crop I had more than I could keep up with. If you deadhead and practice pinching off Zinnias they will grow and then grow some more. My favorite Zinnia variety was the Oklahoma mix (see below).

Oklahoma Formula Mix Zinnias
Oklahoma Formula Mix Zinnias

I planted all the seeds in this list over the course of a month. I usually planted every Monday for succession planting.  This covered a good portion on a fourth an acre.  I also planted bulbs and a few starter plants from the nursery. I also placed a second order of seeds through Johnny’s Select Seeds and bought seeds locally from Sow True Seeds. The next article I will highlight the crops from those plantings and the continued journey of being a first year flower farmer.  To be continued….

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