This weekend it hit me. This is no longer a hobby. This really is a business that I am operating around my 32 hour week in the office! It seems that the long dark days of winter disappeared very quickly and May is just around the corner. We have been working at a frantic pace to prepare our flower beds for planting.
Ideas and knowledge have changed so much in a year of this flower farming adventure. Last year I had several garden beds with nice little grass walkways between them. These little grass walkways have now gone, along with a lot of other grass on our property. Every square inch counts in flower production I am quickly learning. In place of walkways there is weed barrier. Weeds are the flower farmers enemy! My son and husband have been rock stars, making a template and then using the template to burn over 2,000 holes in the weed barrier where we can plant our flower starts.
Then came the irrigation system. There is nothing worse (apart from weeds) than dragging around hose pipes to the far reaching sides of your property trying to keep everything watered. Irrigation is key. Again my husband to the rescue and as he runs water lines all across the property and then ties in drip systems so all these lovely little plants can keep strong and healthy and grow to their full potential.
Of course before we put in place all of these weed barrier and irrigation we amended the soil. My big mistake last year was using horse manure. After I had spread copious amounts of horse manure I found out that as horses only have one stomach they do not digest weeds and grass well enough so when your little newbie flower farmer spreads it all around she ends up with a boat load of weeds also mixing into her soil and as I might have mentioned - weeds are a flower farmers nightmare! This year we are using fish compost. It is all a learning experience!
Everything was in place by Friday night so that meant that it was all systems go for planting. That is how I have spent my weekend. I think that we have all weather systems pass by. From hot sun to torrential rain but through it all I kept planting. I have planted just over 1,250 plant starts that I grew from seeds in my greenhouse. This is just the top flower beds, next weekend I shall be attacking the lower beds and the dahlia beds in the lower field. As I write this I am truly exhausted and I know that this is no longer a hobby but the best thing of all, I LOVE EVERY MOMENT.