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Ever wondered what flowers farmers do in the off-season?!
I’d thought it’d be fun share more about what it’s like operating a flower farm and chronicle more of the behind-the-scene happenings as part of a mini blog series.
Here’s a recap of our January :
For us here at Two Sisters Flower Farm, January always seems to bring about a mix of emotions.
As a Type-A, self-proclaimed ‘control freak’ I love the idea of a ‘fresh start’- And so when I’m presented with a new calendar year, I’m often excited at the mounds of possibilities that exist.
But with that excitement also comes a bit of relief. Fall and winter have grown to be large seasons for us here at Two Sisters Flower Farm.
While I love nearly every minute of these chaotic seasons, I find myself often working at an unsustainable pace during these later months.
By January 1st, I’m desperately in need of rest- a chance to slow WAY down + sort of catch my breath.
The main objective on the farm during January is planning + lots of reflection on the previous year.
Honestly, it would be easy to just move forward without any consideration for how the last year panned out- but I know that if I don’t take the lessons that I’ve learned from last year and apply them to the year ahead- I’m bound to repeat the previous mistakes I’ve made.
Reflection is a huge part of our planning process. I’m always trying to better understand why some things worked well for us and why some things did not. I tend to ask myself questions like: Can we streamline some of our growing practices to make things easier on ourselves? Can we change anything so that we offer a better experience for our customers?
I’ve shared some of our reflections (and what we’re changing for 2023) in this YouTube video here. I encourage you to check it out if you’d like more details on some of our latest revelations.
With planning, I’ve learned that it’s best for us to plan long-term. Although it’s only January, this is the month where I make the big decisions that make up the bulk of our year.
- I plan what we’ll grow as part of our cut-flower field. For the most part, these past few years, I’ve really honed in on what I need to grow + I have a good understanding of what our customers like- but I’m always checking for new varieties that could add a bit of fun to our line-up.
- I decide on which pumpkin varieties will make it into our 2023 pumpkin patch + in what quantities. I try to be mindful of which varieties are tried-and-true favorites that customers desire year after year- as well as be open to new varieties that we can introduce into our line-up so that customers feel like they’re having a “new” experience with us come fall.
- I put together our entire mum order- taking note of which mum varieties (and in what colors) we’ll grow; and calculating the necessary amount of supplies- how many pots + in what sizes? How much soil? Do we need any irrigation parts?, etc.
- I do my best to piece together our tulip order during January. When it comes to bulbs- you’re often rewarded with a better selection if you have your order ready to go early on. These are the bulbs that we’ll not only plant ourselves for next year’s flowers but these also include the bulbs that we’ll sell as part of our fall bulb sale.
- And while our 2023 Holiday Market feels so far away- even now in January I’m already preparing what we’ll have available to offer. There’s a long lead-time on supplies + so it’s important that I have a clear idea of what our plan is for the winter season so that I can order accordingly.
What We Plant In January:
There’s not a lot that needs to get planted in January- which I’m grateful for as it takes a lot of time + energy to plan out our seasons like I just mentioned.
We did plant our ranunculus + anemone corms this month.
I’ll admit it’s a bit early to plant corms if you’re planning on growing your flowers outside (if you’re interested in growing ranunculus + anemones yourself- check out this post here where I walk you through the process).
But this year, I have a better indoor grow space set-up that I think will provide the necessary conditions for this spring crop to thrive. Fingers crossed that all works out and we’ll have lots of beautiful blooms to share with you all here shortly!
We’re also planting more paperwhite bulbs each week. I absolutely love the delicate flower heads + sweet fragrance of paperwhite stems. To have a continuous flush of these flowers, I plant a new batch of bulbs at the start of every week.
Paperwhites are one of the easiest bulb flowers to grow- if you’re wanting to give them a try yourself, check out the tips that I shared in this post.
What’s in Bloom:
During this month we’ve officially entered tulip season! If you caught our most recent YouTube video on Growing Tulips, you may already know that we’ve switched up our tulip strategy this year.
We’re trying our hand at forcing tulips so that we can achieve a longer, more consistent season of tulips.
So far it’s working! I’m absolutely in love with the fact that we can grow farm-fresh specialty tulips right here at our flower farm using the ambient temperature of my farmhouse basement.
Our amaryllis bulbs have started to bloom as well + are providing a beautiful, show-stopping display of flowers.
I always pot up the bulbs that are leftover after our Holiday Market in December- the flowers work great in many of our cut flower arrangements; and truth be told- I just adore having so many amaryllis bulbs in bloom in my home during this time of year.
Things I’m Loving:
With our slower pace this month, I’ve been using some of my extra time to dive deep into the books that were collecting on my nightstand.
As a business owner, I’ve become more aware of how my beliefs surrounding money have affected our success, and I’ve really enjoyed diving deeper on this topic of money mindset as I know it will have a direct impact on the profitability of our flower farm.
This month I’ve read:
All three were great books, definitely worth the read.
In regards to more tangible flower farming tools, I’m really loving this portable potting bench tray.
With the colder temperatures, and the fact that we’re simply planting less this month- I’m finding that I have to sometimes really psyche myself up to go out + work in my rather cold garage space. What I love about this portable potting bench is that I can bring my seed trays inside + plant what I need to plant WITHOUT making a mess.
Greenhouse Megastore has this specific tray listed at a much lower price; however, they don’t currently have any in stock. I’ve found the same tray on Amazon (for a bit more)- still totally worth it in my opinion.
That’s our January at a glance! Let me know in the comments below what garden tasks you’re working on this month!
P.S. If you’re deep in the planning stages of your own cut flower farm- don’t forget that we have some great resources available in our online shop- including our 1/4 Acre Cutting Garden Plan and our Garden Planning Workbook!