What’s Growing on in the Garden: February 2023

Spring is just under twenty days away, and I couldn’t be more excited! Are you looking forward to spring and missing flowers as much as I am? It seems like a long wait since the last flower bloomed all those months ago. Although I’ve kept busy during these long winter months planning our bed layouts, making seed starting schedules, educating myself, checking on dahlia tubers in storage, and dreaming of the coming season, still, I miss the flowers. And now, with spring finally on the horizon, it’s time to start implementing all those plans and dreams! So, in this week’s blog post, I thought I’d give an update about what’s been growing on at the farm and bring back our monthly edition of What’s Growing on in the Garden.

Here’s a glimpse into what I’ve been up to:

Seed sowing and planting: Even though it is still early in the season, I’ve been preparing seedlings since January when ranunculus and anemone corms were soaked, pre-sprouted, and potted up. These seedlings have now been planted in our low tunnel to develop strong roots and (hopefully) provide abundant blooms for us to share this season. The unpredictable weather and temperature swings have made this process a bit stressful, as I’ve had to provide extra protection to get these seedlings through the temperature extremes. Despite the weather, they are still thriving, and I am hopeful they will continue to grow and flourish. I am thrilled to be trialing several new varieties of ranunculus this season, including Amandine White, Buttercream, White Picotee, Malva, and Bianco Sfumato, alongside our saved corms from last season’s Chamallow, Salmon, and Aviv Mix. I can hardly wait to see them bloom!

Ranunculus Seedlings Being Hardened Off
Time to Get Planted!
Low Tunnel Covered in Snow (Unpredictable Weather and Temperature Swings Have Made This Process a Bit Stressful)
Despite the Weather, They Are Still Thriving
I Am Hopeful They Will Continue to Grow and Flourish

Besides ranunculus and anemones, I’ve also been working on sowing seeds. The sweet peas have sprouted and will soon be pinched and hardened off before planting in the garden later this month. I am trying two new varieties this season from Floret called Lavender Ice Mix and Sweetheart Mix, alongside last season’s Watermelon and High Scent varieties. Our stock seeds have also been started, and of course, I’ll be trialing several new types of stock as well. And later this month, I’ll be sowing feverfew, yarrow, and dusty miller, which will also be grown indoors under lights until planting time. It feels so good to get my hands back in the soil!

Time to Start Some Seeds!
Planting the Sweet Peas!
The Sweet Pea Seedlings Are Getting Hardened off Before Planting Out Later This Month

And, despite the eight inches of snow from a recent storm and below-freezing temperatures in the evenings, I’ve noticed signs of plants waking up on my walks around the farm. Our tulips, daffodils, garlic, and alliums have just started poking up through the soil, and I see buds forming on our lilacs. So it seems Mother Nature is also excited about spring’s arrival.

Winter Is Still Holding On, but There Are Signs of Spring
Here Come the Tulips!

Dahlia Plans: I am excited to expand our dahlia collection this year! I’m working on a dahlia project this season to help me determine which varieties are best for cut flower production. I’ll be trialing 26 dahlia varieties recommended by other cut flower growers besides our favorites from last season. I plan to take detailed field notes throughout the season to help me select the most productive types with a longer vase life. By the end of the season, I hope to have determined which of the trialed varieties will have a permanent place on the farm. I’ll also continue to trial a third-year seedling I’ve been growing to decide whether or not it is a keeper. It should be a fun project; stay tuned for the results!

I Am Excited to Expand Our Dahlia Collection and Work on a Dahlia Project This Season
A Third-Year Dahlia Seedling I’m Growing Out to See if It’s a Keeper

Education and Connection: I have been busy educating myself and learning to be a better grower to provide the highest quality blooms possible. In these winter months, I’ve been taking classes, reading books, and attending summits to connect and learn from other growers. I’m also becoming a Certified Pollinator Steward so our farm can be an oasis for the local pollinator population.

Adding CSA shares to our offerings: Lastly, I’ve been working on the business end of the farm. Updating our website, increasing marketing, and working on our taxes have all been on my radar this month. In late February, we celebrated CSA Week by offering our first-ever CSA flower shares this season! We are offering three different subscription options throughout the season, and I am a tad nervous but mostly excited about this new aspect of the farm. I hope to spread the kindness of flowers further into our community.

Celebrating CSA Week by Offering Our First Flower Shares!
We Are Offering Three Different Subscription Options Throughout the Season
I Am a Tad Nervous but Mostly Excited About This New Aspect of the Farm

So, even though it is just the beginning of the growing season, we have kept busy preparing for the flower-filled months to come. Spring is on the horizon, and I can’t wait to get growing! That’s what’s been growing on in our gardens this past month. What’s been growing on in yours?

2 Replies to “What’s Growing on in the Garden: February 2023”

  1. Lovely photos, as always. I’ve been doing about the same as you, seedling like crazy and planting out ranunculus when the weather permits. We haven’t had the snow, but we’ve had lots of rain. Yarrow is ready to go in the ground, and I’ve been tidying and weeding on nice days. The greenhouse is full, as well as the basement so spring better come soon!

    Liked by 1 person

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