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With the arrival of March, I can start to feel the pace of our season pick-up just a bit. We’ve enjoyed a rather mild winter so far which makes me even more aware of just how close spring really is.
For me, spring sets the tone for the rest of our year. And I often feel that if I can just get started on the right foot, then there’s a better chance that the ‘right’ things will sort of fall into place.
As we get closer + closer to “GO” time- here’s a look at where our focus has been this month:
Connecting With Our Suppliers:
I mentioned in January’s Farm Update how we plan our tulip (and other spring bulbs) order at the start of the year. This month was when I actually touched base with our bulb reps to submit those orders.
It always feels early to be thinking about next year’s tulips but with there being an increased interest lately among flower farmers wanting to grow specialty flowers- it often means that suppliers are pushing for more lead time on orders.
Since there’s a limit to the number of bulbs that are available each year per variety, in order to secure the varieties that are on our wish list, we order as early as possible. Having my wish list/order ready to go ahead of time really helps me to feel confident that I’m ordering all that I need to make next tulip season really special.
As a business owner, I know the importance of having pictures of my products. But as a flower farmer (growing a perishable product) snapping pictures is usually the last thing on my mind…
However, tulip season has really challenged me to be more intentional with my photo-taking. You see, we harvest our tulips when they’re still in bud stage. This ensures a good, long vase life for our customers. The problem is that it can be difficult to communicate just how unique our tulip varieties are when our customers have no clue what these tulips are suppose to look like…
And so this month I took it upon myself to photograph + document each and every variety of tulips we were growing.
I wanted to know for sure how each variety behaved in the vase; I wanted to be able to communicate to customers what to expect + truthfully, I just wanted to experience each variety in full bloom for myself.
I’m so pleased with the results. As time-consuming as the project was, I know that these are photos that I’ll be able to use not just this season but for many seasons to come.
Below is a small sample of the photos we captured. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing a deep dive into the tulip varieties we loved this year in a more in-depth video on our YouTube channel. If you’re interested in learning more, I encourage you to subscribe to our channel so that you’re notified of when that video goes live.
If there’s one thing I miss about having a more ‘traditional’ job- it’s the daily interaction with co-workers. Most days I work by myself, and now more than ever, I’m aware of how important social interaction is.
I’m fortunate enough to live in an area where there’s a great network of talented business women; and I am really thankful for the fact that some of those business women have taken the initiative to host various meet-ups for local entrepreneurs.
These events usually aren’t anything fancy- most of the time, a group of us will get together to enjoy coffee or drinks at happy-hour. For me, there’s no hidden agenda when I go to these type of things. I simply love having the chance to connect with other women who understand the struggles that go with owning your own business.
If you’re feeling isolated by entrepreneurship, I can’t encourage you enough to seek out others in your community who are going through the same thing. I know that I always leave these monthly get-togethers feeling refreshed + just grateful for the connection.
What We’re Planting:
As we approach our last frost date (May 15th), now is the time where I begin sowing our first succession of tender annuals that will get planted into our warm-season cutting garden.
With still about two months to go before the threat of frost has passed, I’m careful to only start seeds for our slower-growing flower varieties. Fast-growing flowers like zinnias + cosmos will have to wait until next month. For now, I’m focusing on getting our snapdragons, celosia, and statice started.
If you’re curious about what specifically we plant into our quarter acre field of flowers- I share our exact map (and seed-sowing schedule) as part of our Quarter Acre Garden Plan. You can find more details here.
What’s in Bloom:
We’re getting further into tulip season + enjoying even more blooms! I find it exciting that many new varieties are starting to flower.
For Valentine’s Day, we were focused on bringing many of our red, purple + pink varieties into bloom. As we transition away from February and start thinking about Easter- we’re shifting gears to more pastel-toned tulips. I find the slight seasonal shift extremely exciting.
The ranunculus that we started earlier this season aren’t quite in bloom yet- however, they are putting on considerable growth and I can’t wait until their buds start to appear.
Things I’m Loving:
This month, as we’ve began the process of starting seeds- I’ve come to love this gadget (a sort-of soil punch for cell trays). I’ll admit, this was something I purchased on a whim after coming across an ad on social, but I’m pleasantly surprised by just how useful this tool is.
If you’re someone like me, who has LOTS of seed trays top plant, this soil digger will save you some serious time.
In keeping with my reading habit, I’ve recently purchased:
Both books were quick reads and I loved the fresh perspective they offered on how we can better serve our customers so that our business thrives. If you’re new in business, or just need a little help in attracting potential clients- I encourage you give these books a read!
If there’s one word that I could use to describe March- it would be ‘restorative’. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the first few months of the year I always feel as though I’m trying to recover from the year-end burnout I experience in December. As March progresses, I can feel my excitement return for the season ahead!
March always seems to bring with it a certain ‘spark’ that truly has me excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
Now it’s your turn- I love hearing what other growers are up to this time of year, so let me know in the comments below what tasks you’ve been tackling lately.
P.S. If you feel behind- have no worries! There’s still plenty of time to get started with your very own cutting garden.
If you’d like some guidance as you plan, don’t forget about the resources we have available. Both our Garden Planning Workbook and our Quarter Acre Cutting Garden Plan can help ensure you have the best season ever!
Wishing you a beautiful and abundant season ahead 🙂