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The Parable of the Flower Part 2

Michelle Lesher


The objective of this class is to equip you with details on how you can successfully grow flowers in early spring, summer and fall. Michelle will be sharing her favorite flower varieties and other tips she has learned through her farming experience. Whether you are just starting out with growing flowers or you have gown them for years, you will enjoy this class full of so much lover for flowers.


Michelle Lesher

Registered Dietitian and Registered Nurse


  • January 15, 2020
    9:15 AM
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Also somebody came up and said I want to do this and I'm moving to a new area and we were talking about that and there's a flower farmer in their area that's a very big flower farmer and she was thinking. Well then they'll be competition do you know that less than one percent of our population farms today less than one percent and flowers scuse me farming is a very unique. Trade because we have new farmers come to farmers market and we embrace them farmers embrace farmers we're going to encourage them we want them to do it because guess what if we don't have more farmers in this planet we're not going to survive. We need farmers and so when you're new at the market and you're new it doing this however it starts it's really not a competitive field in that way at least that's not our experience we always invite new farmers because we want people to be successful at this because there's a high demand and not enough people doing it so this is the summer flower so this this is going to be a little easier than the spring flowers because you don't have to cover them you don't have to protect them they're just going to flourish with all the the warm weather this is my favorite Dahlia variety it's called peaches and cream and we're going to talk all about that so a couple more quotes just to share that Ellen why I really like flowers which is so cool to me Henry and Edson do not neglect to water the flowers the Dahlia is especially be kind and loving to each other and faithful to Jenny. Isn't that so sweet how she's talking about being kind and loving and she's talking about how they never neglect the flowers especially the dahlias and there's a reason for that because Dahlia is our amazing flowers Here's another quote he connected the work of God's finger in the heavens and upon the earth with the Word of Life from these he drew his lessons of spiritual instruction he would pluck the little ease the flowers of the valley and place them in the hands of the little children as instruct instructors to proclaim the truth of His Word. So if the flower is use to instruct a child of the truth of God's word do you think maybe we should grow flowers. I think so I mean honestly that just gives me goose bumps because it's so amazing look at these flowers how that helps to proclaim the truth of God's Word Well let's think about that this is about parables right so let's think of the parable in that you plant a seed in the ground it's dark it's buried in the dirt and then what's resurrected out of the dirt life do you know anything else that gets buried and resurrects Jesus and what about in baptism when we're baptized that's so cool isn't it that's what's happening with these flowers and the life that they have in the beauty and the love that they have is the love in the beauty that Christ has for us and it's it's so amazing to me how these things have been preserved for our enjoyment. And the last one here all both young and old should be in the open air as much as possible every family should have a plot of ground for cultivation and for beauty parents a flower garden it will be a blessing to your children your children need active exercise in order to be healthy and happy parents it will pay to expand a small sum yearly excuse me expend a small sum yearly in purchasing flower seeds and shrubs this is the council we have to grow flowers. So this one is the progress of years 862 to 876 Volume 2 pages 309 scuse me through your way to 309 starting with all both young and old. Larry says it's the biographies. Or. Arthur White's biographies. Here's a picture of our farm Larry did not want me to pick this picture from the part because this is the fall when a lot of things are dead so here's our farm with a lot of dead things on it doesn't it look beautiful. So I wanted to point out to you where I grow flowers because in the big scheme of things I'm not growing very many so this is our washed ation our house is in the woods here like right around here this is our washed ation I have flowers here this is one Dahlia patch that I have I have another Dahlia patch here and then I had all this patch here were flowers. And we Croft rotate some of them and then the dahlias kind of have their spot that they're grown in and then our greenhouses here this is our starts house we also grow peppers back there this is filled with tomatoes This is filled with tomatoes and my new flower greenhouse is located over here so this picture's a little older. So when I was putting this presentation together I realized I could not do any of this without Larry he doesn't pick the flowers and he doesn't put them in bouquets but he helps me prep the ground he builds of my greenhouse he helps me plant them he helps me decide what varieties I want to grow and so it really does help to to do this as a team to have help and support and we are a very unique farm where a began to farm and there's not a lot of farms that are began except what that means is is we use no animal waste so we're not using any more they were we don't use any blood mill No Feather mill no fish emulsion so we don't use anything that comes from an animal on our farm it's an all green farm and that is a marketing thing for us as well we did it because it was our 1st. Really push for doing that is because we wanted to avoid g m O's and a lot of animals are fed g.m.o. feeds that manure is composted then they can call it organic because it's been composted and we didn't want to contaminate our ground with anything that could potentially be a g.m.o. and then just our animal kingdom in the. Of course some people raise animals in a good healthy way but the majority of this is being done in a way that the animals are more sickly they're being given a lot of antibiotics or hormones and things like this so obviously their waste would not be the best thing to put on the ground anymore so we decided to try it and it is working for us so we're sticking with it. Again I mentioned we're primarily a vegetable farm we have 16 and a half acres total so I'll go back to that picture so the whole farm. Basically we have you know goes a little bit farther over this way and then it cuts here and it goes up like this and like this so this whole thing is 16 and a half acres we planted 20 for trees along the driveway last spring. But the flower farm gives me the per the produce is about one and a quarter acre I'm sorry $1.00 and $3.00 quarter acre and then the flowers are only an 8th of an acre so I'm not growing a huge amount considering the space we have so this is something I really want to share with everyone that I just learned becoming far farmer why it's so important to buy local flowers so before you go to the grocery store you see a bunch of flowers are pretty inexpensive you're smelling on your touch them these are great. If you look it up online they spray flowers a lot and because we don't eat them there's pesticides and fungicides and herbicides and all these things that they spray on them that are even more toxic than the ones that they put on the food because we're not ingesting them but we're touching them and we're smelling them so it's important to know that if you have little children and you buy flowers you want to make sure either they're local or if you buy from the store make sure they're washing their hands after they touch them because then they're going to put that in their mouth. I would go to the grocery store so I'm selling most of the case I sell at market I sell for $20.00 they're very big bouquets and I would go to Trader Joe's or somewhere like that and the grocery store and they're selling these big bouquets for like 3 dollars like pennies compared to and I'm thinking no one's going to buy my flowers you know but there's a there's a market and I'll try to touch on this a little bit more later too you don't want to go out there and selling your flowers for a really low when they're valued at something higher so dahlias are very high dollar flour so you might be tempted Well I don't want to sell him for that much I'm going to sell him for lower but the market is out of place and you really have to stay with that market in order to be. Sort of respectful to the flower farming industry you don't really want to undercut a bunch of people that are working really hard to grow these flowers so you want to be aware of what like the going price is and try to state you know close in that margin you might be a little bit less but you want to stay close so. When you go to the store and they're like pennies compared to what you're selling them floor for a lot of the reason is because they pay people very unfair wages to pick their flowers it's kind of a corrupt system they are hiring immigrants to cut their flowers and they're not paying them a fair wage the living conditions are not good and they're around a lot of chemicals so it's an industry that. Now that I learn more about it you really want to buy local flowers because the ones that are mass produce that you're seeing at the grocery store are not very good and it's not a very good industry to support so. Yes So I found a video where people were in a factory and getting in flowers and wrapping them for the grocery store they had on full rubber gloves and a suit and a mask and like all this protective gear like this is crazy I didn't realize it was so toxic but research it on your own just Google because it's just at your fingertips Yes ma'am. Exactly yeah and I never realized that she said and then we take these to the hospital for sick people or I was always thinking you know our little children want to touch and everything and then you know they put their hands in their mouths or whatever we're smelling them you know there's a lot of chemicals there so this is why local flowers are really important to purchase because you talk to most local flower farmers they're not really spraying anything on their flowers so in the flowers also will last longer the ones that were growing are fresh the one a lot of the ones at the grocery stores are shipped from Holland or really far away south america different places where they're shipped long distances so these are some of the things that we recommend we treat our flowers like our food we don't do really anything different again we're predominately a produce farm so we're trying to streamline this and make it as easy as possible so whatever we do to prep the ground for the food we do the same for the flowers so we're soil testing we're amending where it's needed when you get this old test back in this is your depleted in this or you have too much of that. We use a vegetative compost so this is where we're spreading the compost to spread on the ground there before we planted it in the greenhouses we put peat maul us which helps with drainage because we have a lot of drainage issues on our farm. We do crop rotation and so this is where some of the flowers that I grow would be different than other people. We can't grow like the pretty grasses or like Amaranth or things that are going to reseed in the field and become a weed because then Larry won't be very happy so we have to pick things that are not like I want to grow babies breath and I read up on it don't breath in a field because you have babies breath everywhere and that doesn't really work when you're doing crop rotation so I don't grow a lot of the filler stuff because of that reason because they're really rotating in with our But stable crop so just be aware that some crops are going to spread. We do some cover cropping. Tech Support can you help me out here. So we try to do minimal tillage on the farm. Larry's when we moved to our farm things did not grow well so we started out in Seattle area we didn't know it at the time but they have the best soil in the whole country was our 1st farming experience so we plant things and they grew and we're like oh this is great this is easy then we moved to South Dakota and worked at the Black Hills Health and Education Center and the gentleman that farm there previous to us for 15 years really took care of the dirt and things really well there they had a lot of hail which was hard but the place actually grew well Indiana you plant a plants where we were at and it would grow to leaves and then it would die there is like oh dear something's wrong here so it forced him to have to learn a lot about soil and. The gentleman we bought our place from he had never sprayed before there were no pesticides or problem with that however he had hated it year after year so the ground was just depleted it had nothing no microbial life it was just dead so would someone mind maybe calling tech or Vivian does anyone have Vivian's number can you call Vivian for me Intel or are we need the tech person to come help us that the projector just stopped maybe they can bring another projector. So through we're in our 7th year now and through soil testing and amending. Are you sure Ok is coming back on maybe it was just hot I don't know. There's soil testing and amending and introducing microbial life and bringing life back to our soil we actually are growing normal food now like you planted and it grows but it took a while so like I said farming really the biggest thing we've learned is it's about character development you're going to learn so much and you discuss stick with it. Because eventually it will work you just have to tap into resources that you have. Ok and I go now. Praise the Lord for Larry laughter. Ok so with I'm going to go through all the summer flowers now we're going to talk about zinnias solo c.-a cosmos sunflower gum for Ina and Dahlia is so these are all the ones that I grow. These are all ones that are started from seed and we use drip irrigation and I did talk with someone yesterday that was telling me that they did overhead irrigation with their flowers and they didn't do so well and that's been our counsel too is better to do drip irrigation with the flowers it's interesting rain can rain on a flower it doesn't really bother it but when you use the drip eerie or the overhead sprinklers with the flowers probably because you know honestly I don't know why maybe it has something to do with what would it be Larry why is it not good to use overhead with flowers but rain is fine. Right so it's the same with tomatoes we never overhead water tomato plant because they're more disease prone and like they can splash the water and cause more problems we have a lot of humidity so kind of same philosophy with the flowers it's better to to drip irrigation versus overhead watering. Yeah it depends that's always a good answer if someone ask you something It depends it depends on your climate the situation the water source and all these things so some of these will need to be staked and some of them won't and I'll go through that with each variety but with the dahlias you definitely have to stake the dahlias for support so this is my favorite zinnia variety isn't that so pretty so there's a series called The lime series Queen lime series There's Queen lime Blash Queen lime orange what's the 3rd one blush orange red green line red. Yeah so the queen lime series is kind of like an antique zinnia is what they call it they're very pretty they look really pretty and the bouquets. So I would say if you're just starting out in your thinking what's the 1st flower I want to grow I would suggest is in the air because they are really productive they're easy to grow and they're the type of flower the more you pick them the more they grow if you don't pick them they just kind of dwindle So you have to aggressively pick them or they call it deadheading say there's a day that you can't go out and pick them you have to go and deadhead all the pop off all the dead blooms and that will allow them to keep budding so just aggressively pick the zinnias So you starting from seed you're going to transplant them and we transplant them at 9 in spacing with 3 rows per bed again we have a 4 foot bed top So that's what how we do it and you can get $2.00 to $3.00 plantings of zinnias in the season depending on your zone and you're going to pinch them when they start to grow up. You're going to you know they have like say they have 3 sets of leaves you pension down to that one or 2 set and that's going to force more branching when you're 1st planting them harvesting these are particular there they don't harvest Well mid of the day so you're going to want to do early morning harvest or once the sun starting to go down the wiggle test here knows about the wiggle test that's the funnest thing to do Tracey would like the wiggle test. Show you a video of the wiggle test and you want to cut long stems and be aggressive deadheading necessarily said that they do not store in the cooler this is like the only flower I grow that does not store in the cooler so I pick these only day of sale and if I'm not selling on that day then I go through and deadhead all the dead ones and just wait until our market days to pick them. So here's a couple videos of the wiggle test. So if it's wiggly it's not ready and you put it in the vase and it'll does droop see how we go it is that means it's not ready to harvest so just go around and wiggle your flowers and see how that one's more stiff So that's the one you want to harvest. And then you do a nice long stem on trying to do this with one hand and video so it's a little hard to do and then you just literally use your hand and strip off the leaves and then you have a nice long zinnia for a bouquet so I always do the wiggle test I'll get in a hurry and one will look so ready I'm like I don't need to do the wiggle tests I know those things already and I clip it and then so you have to do tests because sometimes it's deceptive yet. Oh not necessarily. You know I can't say for sure if that I mean I'm sure it would be better for them to be more dry but our situation because of our climate and the summer and the timing and all these different variables all just put the clip them in if they're a little damp from the do I'll put them in the shade or place that they can just sort of dry a little bit you know sometimes you have to pick in the rain and so you pick them and then you try to put them somewhere dry and let them dry a bit before you make your bouquet Sometimes you just do the best you can with what you have ideally you could wait but if you wait too long then it's going to be too hot and they don't like the heat to be picked in the heat either so it's kind of a happy medium there. So solo Sia or Cox calm anybody here heard of this cool flower it's such a weird flower and there's so many different varieties hundreds of varieties of this flower some are these big kind of brainy looking things others are like long thin grass looking things and they're beautiful in color they make a really good dried flower so these also are from seed you're going to do 9 inch spacing 2 to 3 plantings in a season are possible they also need to be pinched for branching early morning harvest as best These are not as temperamental as like this in the us so if I run out of time in the morning I will pick these a little later you do want to be careful to pick these before the colors fade I found this out kind of the hard way where I'm kind of waiting thinking they're going to get bigger and bigger and then if you wait too long when they start to go to seed or the flower color will start to fade if you're going to be drying them you really want to pick them before that so try to pick them before the color phase or they start to go to seed and then for fresh flower arrangements they store well in a cooler similar to the other dried flowers we spoke about for best color retention and best drawing you want to pick them and then go ahead and hang them upside down and put them in a dry place without putting them in water 1st. Cosmos I love cosmos anyone here very cosmos there's such a cool plant they their leaves are kind of spike he like really whimsical flower they're wonderful flowers so these get really tall and these are ones I struggle with if you don't stake them or support them in some way. They'll fall over but they become like these little trees the cosmos trees so I recommend growing them if you can there you can get up to 2 plantings per season in our area of the world you do want to pinch these as well to force the branching very similar you know pretty much every flower it's going to be better to harvest some early morning impossible but. Stanley bees farmer sharing with me just run out of time I mean how do you do that and the reality is as you do some flowers you're just going to have to harvest into the morning and in the afternoon and I would say the ones that are more delicate in my experience of trying to do dawn and dusk would be the dahlias in the zinnias the rest if you have to push them a little later then they don't seem to be as sensitive. These store well in a cooler and these also require deadheading if you just leave that one beautiful plant to grow and you never pick the flower and you never Deadhead it will peter out if you aggressively pick it it will make flowers over and over and over again and I remember my 1st year ever growing them I had a friend come out and visit that was a flower farmer and she's like so what planting of Cosmos is this for you I was like I only planted one this season she's like really I have to plant them 3 times in a season and I had this one planting that just lasted the whole season so sometimes you know just circumstances work things work well but I aggressively pick them so you want to it's hard when you're 1st starting out because you'll see this beautiful flower and then it will have a bud that's not quite open yet coming off the side and you think I'll just pick this little one thing here so I can get this one here to come on later but if you aggressively piccolo and sacrifice that little bud you will get more branching and more flowers so you have to force yourself to cut low in deep and be aggressive because then you'll get way more flowers and that's with most of these so low see it depends if it's that real big brainy one you pretty much just get one big flower but then they have other varieties that branch. So everybody loves sunflowers look at Larry's actually kind of smiling in this one you can see it tell this one I think he likes the teddy bear sunflowers a lawyer he said he did so I really like the teddy bear sunflowers. A lot of flower farmers will pick sunflowers that do not have Paul in because the pollen makes a mess and Larry and I were like Man The thought of a bean not getting pollen from a sunflower is kind of sad you know so we only grow the ones with Paul and because we want to be his to get the ball and so that's just up to you if you're trying to market these to a florist they don't want the Paul and might not work but we also have to market them toward the bees right the bees are important so we want to keep the bees happy so all of our sunflowers we pick are the pollen varieties so that particular one is called lemonade teddy bear it's one of my favorite ones and they have other teddy bear at the booth I have pictures of all the sunflowers regrow. So sunflowers are great so you can direct see them or transplant them because of space and time I always direct seed my sunflowers and you can do it early spring if that seeds in the ground and you get a frost is not going to hurt it if a couple leaves start to come up and you're going to get a frost it's not going to hurt either so you can go out there and sunflowers can be one of those early easy ones that you do they take a while to grow but they have so many beautiful righties some are just one big main stock some will branch some grow seeds that are edible seeds for us some don't so you just want to go through your seed catalogs and really read the description and figure out which ones you want to grow we've grown so many different kinds and I think my favorite is the teddy bear I really like that shaggy look so translator direct see they usually need 9 to 12 inch spacing we do one to 3 plantings a season depending how on top of things we are and I always love to have them in the fall especially. And those yellow sunflowers and the red zinnias with the orange zinnias look so beautiful for the fall they make really pretty fall because they're both pretty easy flowers to grow so if you're just starting out I would encourage sunflowers and zinnias because they match up well together and they're pretty resilient flowers the cool thing about sunflowers too is you can pick them when they're not open so you see it's kind of close you think of like an i would eyelashes closed and maybe one petal will pop up or 2 and you can harvest it like that and it will open later so this is one of those flowers that doesn't have to be fully open. I forgot to mention with the Zinni is you have to wait till that wiggle test and they're fully open cosmos you want them to be open. They have to be open to you So really with the ones that aren't fully open of the ones we've discussed so far it's just going to be the sunflowers. Comfrey know is such a cool flower this is one that's really good for drying and it makes for a nice addition to a bouquet and there's beautiful colors and they grow really well in our area too you're going to start them from seed. Pretty much 9 inch spacing we do 3 rows per bed you can get $2.00 to $3.00 plantings out of a season again and you want to wait to harvest these until they're stems or firm and again it's this kind of the same I'm just repeating the same thing over and over again with the dried flowers as you want to pick them before they go to seed and when the color isn't starting to fade and then again if you if you know you're going to use them for drying you want to dry right away before putting them in water. Ok now we get to the Dahlia is this is like this is my favorite summer flower. How beautiful is that flower so pretty right so this is. This is a flower I'll just give you a little story so how we even got into Dell Yes we have Mennonite neighbors that are about 5 miles away from us that through the grapevine or whatever found out that we were getting farmers up on this hill and they just came to our farm one day and said we really want to grow our flowers organically Can we talk to you so we became friends with them and found out they are Dahlia farmers and they have the whole market for value is in Louisville Kentucky which is where we grew up and that's the city where we grow all of our flowers so. Sorry sell all our flowers to grow them in Indiana sell them in Louisville so we're starting out they were sharing information and she's like. I'm just going to give you 100 Tubers to start to Skaven to me so then you're like Ok I mean I might as well try right there free so we try it and they grew and that worked and we're like wow these flowers are amazing and you bring them to market in sed I mean people just stop in their tracks because they're so pretty and this is a flower you cannot buy at a grocery store they're too delicate and they don't travel that you can't ship them they have to be fully open before you harvest them so they're you're never going to find these in a grocery store and that's another thing that makes them really unique is you know they have to be local so you're forced to buy local flowers. So I can talk about the die is while Larry tries to fix that again. So planting tuber So Dahlia seat is looks like a potato and when you get it you want to make sure that the there's no fear of a frost so the glass for our status happened for this season and then you're going to plant your tuber so year we at the 1st year we planted them they did pretty good the 2nd year we planted them we had heavy rain in the spring and I lost about 50 plants or $52.00 burst from rotting that's the trickiest part is they tend to rot if it's too wet so. What Larry did the 3rd year is he hild I'm just like you would a potato he made the hills and mountains with the tractor and we planted into the hills and I had 0 rotting this last year so you just have to either put them in a place that drains well or make hills and plants in the house it works it works for us pretty good so this spacing on them is 12 to 18 inches so you need a good at least a foot in between each plant and with our 4 foot beds we just do 2 rows per bed and we stagger around and then. You want to make sure and if you come by the booth I can show you in more detail because I've got to preside over there you want to make sure the eye of the tube or if you think of a potato when it starts to sprout they call that the eye of the potato the tubers the same thing so when the little eye starts to spread out you want to make sure that sprout is facing up when you plant it so say the little sprouts here you're going to plant it like this. Right so well Larry said is the the I isn't going to be like in the middle of the tube or it's only at the top at the neck part but you want to make sure that that eye part is facing upward. And then once there's 2 sets of leaves Syria see a leaf pop up a leaf set a 2nd set and then once that 3rd one starts you're going to pinch it down to where there's just that one leaf set and that's going to force them to branch and be more like big value of Bush's instead of one stock and I One year I didn't pinch the 2nd year I pinched major difference highly encourage pinching it makes for a bigger plant and then we always use the drip irrigation. Dahlias have to be harvested daily if you don't you can go out there and Deadhead but there's a lot of value in the value so I am harvesting them every day I don't ever not there's never a day I miss picking in Dahlia and less of course it's Sabbath but that's known we don't pick on Sabbath but every other day we do. So you want to make sure the flowers are fully opened and they store really well in a cooler so what I do is we have a Sunday farmer's market and a Tuesday farmer's market so new week starts. Sunday morning I'm going to go out and pick before farmer's market and then Monday I'm going to pick for farmer's market and those 2 days will be my Tuesday market flowers and then Wednesday Thursday Friday are the dahlias I'm going to sell at my Sunday market and it works perfectly great I ask I serve a customers how are your flowers holding up how long do they last and everyone is very pleased with the flowers you know usually people say around 5 days is a good length for a dahlia which you're probably thinking That's not very long but for what they are the specialty flour that they are sometimes the last up to 7 depending so like the big dinner plate values like the one I showed in the 1st picture they do not last as long but they're very big and beautiful and the ball dahlias which I'll show you pictures of they actually last a little longer I say more like 7 days in a vase. Yes So the bigger dinner plate ones are oftentimes used for weddings as with Larry saying those are usually a one day event so they don't need them to last a super long time so that's a lot of them are popular for weddings so for pest control this is kind of a funny story so the 1st few years we did have a whole lot of budget issues and then last year because I finally got a hold of my favorite tuber which was really hard to get which is that peaches and cream on the bug started eating it before I could kick it and I was so upset and they have these these are jewelry bags that you can buy on Amazon they're called. Organza bags. I thought I don't want to bunch of bags in the garden over the flowers are going to look pretty and I resisted it resisted it and then when they were eating my favorite one I'm like fine I'll get them and I really got to have that I did I mean that really makes a huge difference so you just simply once it's starting to you know it has a butt on there you just put it over the flower and tighten it and the bugs can't get it and it's a win when it doesn't damage the flower it's really light I mean we've had rain all these different elements of wind in the bags don't seem to cause any difference in it. And. I haven't had that at all so are your dahlias outsider in a greenhouse or the they're outside or years in a greenhouse. So the other thing. Ok so some people are saying that the Browns the leaves another thing I would say is I try like if this is where the butt is do you try to put the bag kind of with some space Yeah because you don't want it like you know here because that can maybe cause some damage you know my experience is they helped like it made my pieces in cream. Yeah literally perfect. So maybe it just depends on the climate of the year I wouldn't give up on them if they did that to you did they do that the whole season or did use you took them off and right in so then did you get bugged pressure Yeah so maybe you kind of have to pick and choose maybe you could start off with it on there before they start to open and then take it off because a lot of times that bug damage can be right at the beginning when it's a smaller bud. And it maybe just depends on if it's a really huge. You know time of year if there's a lot of rain we had tons of rain this spring and I'm in that very 1st picture and I'm going to show another picture of the peaches and cream I mean they were just perfect and before I had bug bites all over him so it might be something you just have to play around with a little bit depending on the climate. About this size. And I've used this size in for even for the dinner plates like I have flew Air in here and that's a huge flower that really touches the bag and it wasn't damaging them so I think climate and then I would just try again because maybe it was just the all those medians of the for all those different variables combined you know that don't happen all the time. So what Larry said just for auto verse is it could be because we test the soil and amend the soil and try to make it as healthy as possible like we do our food perhaps the paddles or the plant is stronger I mean that's possible you know maybe it's out or. You know. Awesome maybe that's the problem no no. Which is really it makes sense right I mean it seems logical you're going to have a sturdier healthier plant if it has the nutrients it needs in the soil so it's going to be less susceptible to disease if it gets a little damage it'll heal itself better you know it's always amazing to me when you see like kale that's had damage and then it kind of heals itself I mean there's plants have that ability to you and so maybe that's it may be that something you can look more closely into and Dahlia store great in a cooler so here's a little video of the dahlias with the bags over them. So Morin is a variety on the right and I'm going to have tubers of that for sale at my booth with all the it's a pretty orange color so the bugs really tend to like the whites the whites and the creams that there's. An attraction that the bugs have to that color the reason why you don't see any bags on them are in is because I have no blood pressure on them are in but this is the white ball Dahlia that you see there is called right Crawford Jan and the bugs loved it and so when I put the bag and then I take it off and this is beautiful perfect flower with not a single book by it on it I'm sold all these bags now I use them all the time for the white Dahlia is. So you just basically what I do say this is the flower in the bags on the flower I pick the flower and then I take the bag off I even will store the bags on top of the stakes like if I have too many things going on and I don't want to necessarily go back and then bag the book the next buds yet I want to get the flowers picked in the cooler then I'll go back and I'll you know bag the bugs that are the newer bugs and it's just a constant daily thing I'm taking them off and putting them on and then. I said that the bags don't cause any damage but apparently I'm wrong depending on your climate and situation so you know don't expect it to be perfect my experience has just been that it's worked really well. So this is the cool Tube or so this is a little video of what they look like so I got one tuber So this is one tuber here I plant that in the ground it makes a big stalk it grows flowers all season I pick and pick and pick and pick so many flowers and then the frost comes it dies back the plant it's laying there you know it's willows its leaves are brown and dead you cut it off you gently dig it up and you've got $10.00 to $20.00 more tumors connected to that one tumour you started with so it's the gift that keeps on giving it's so awesome so your one seed then turns into 10 to 20 seeds that you can give to friends you can sell them you can replant them like this peach and peaches and cream variety that's my favorite they're kind of expensive. Which. You know starting out you're like oh I don't know if I want to pay $12.00 for $12.00 or but it's such a pretty flower so I have all I could 3 and then the next year I had like 30 and then this year I have like 60 I'm hoping for this next season I'll have a 100 and so that's sort of how you build your own stock with the dahlias it's really fun and then you can trade I'm trading with a few people here this year that grow Dahlia is they've message me hey which ones are you bringing in I'll bring some or we'll trade and that's a really fun thing to do too. So I mention digging after the frost if possible it's not always possible to do that with time and just different things they tend to store better if you wait for them to die with the frost and then give it a few days to kind of. Hard for cure in the ground after the plane has died. You're going to use a fork and you do have to be gentle because the next of them will break off from that big clump so if you want to get all your Tubers out of that clump you want to use a fork and you want to do it really gently and then there's 2 different methods and I've tried them both and it really depends on your storage area if you have a human storage area and that's not really cool I would recommend digging them spraying them dividing them and storing them already pretty divided if if it's not a very if it's more of a dry storage area which ours is just where we have them in our basement we have a dehumidifier down there it's nice and cool but it's more dry I found the better way for us is to dig them up and leave the dirt all around that clump I don't spray them off and I store the whole clump and we storm and sawdust in crates and that way that clump of dirt actually kind of helps the moisture stay around the other reason why I like doing it that way because you can spray them off in this in the fall. And divide them in the fall but it's a little harder to see the eyes you can see them but sometimes I feel like is there and I is there not an eye if you wait till the spring the little eyes are starting to sprout so then you go to divide them and you know for sure that's an eye there does that make sense so that's why I like I like doing it the way that the 2nd way where you leave the dirt on and divide in the spring now Springs a busy time a year and that means you're dividing down his in the spring which is a huge job depending on how many you have I think I have like 20 crates of them right now that I'm going to have to divide like probably starting. February like when we get back so it's a big job but totally worth it what else would you rather be doing with dividing dahlias in the winter. So we saw we store them in sawdust I was talking with a friend here that uses peat moss she was sharing that maybe that retains a little more water and that it can tend to cause them to mold so I would encourage sawdust we've had good results with that you just want to check on them in storage like once every couple weeks if they start to shrivel and kind of look like a prune then you want to spray the sawdust in the crate a little bit but you want to be careful not to overdo that because then you can cause mold and rotting So I just want to watch that 40 to 50 degrees is the best temperature to store them in so we have a basement in our guest bedroom is full of dahlias we have a temperature gauge in there that tells us the humidity in the temperature it stays about 50 degrees so what Larry saying is we get for audio verse we get our sawdust from a local mill and they give us a garbage bag full for a dollar so we get like 10 bags for $10.00 it's really inexpensive if you have a local sawmill and if not you can source like what they use at pet stores for hamsters the wood shavings you can use that too so here are some of my favorite varieties this one. Is the smiling there no use not selling holy my favorite Dahlia variety how pretty is that flower and look it's just perfect because of these bags there's no bug marks. This one is Larry's favorite it's called Cafe. Café Cafe au lait How do you say it. Cafe au lait So it's spelled the no French so cafe au lait it's a larger dinner plate Dahlia it's one of the most sought after Fridays and it's probably one of the hardest ones to grow because it grows tall and it tends to fall over if you really have to stake it but people want it so bad that are like florist and wedding designers because of that color it's just it's really pretty color and it's a nice big flower I mean that flower is about like that big. So those are our top 2 then this one he's definitely smiling there. He likes the white ones this is right Prof Jan I really like this one it's a ball Dahlia Like I said the ball Dahlia is tend to hold better than the big dinner plate ones are less fragile they have a longer base life this one is marinade this one and the one I'll have to burst for sale at the booth to Later today I like Martin because it's a heavy producer it's it just makes a lot of flowers and it's seems to be pretty bug resistant I don't ever cover them and the bugs don't tend to bug them the bugs don't bug them. Yes So some values come on really early so we're going to plant them as they say we know the last frost date is May 10 we're going to go and plant in the next week and. I might have some that start June some a start July some varieties that don't start blooming to August so it depends on the variety and then they will bloom in till the frost. So that's how that works. Where I'll show you Linda's baby this is when this baby is also one of my favorites that one comes on very early it's like one of the earlier ones and it is a work horse of a flower it goes all season long I will get a big big set of them I pick them aggressively then the next set maybe not as strong but I'm so getting some flowers and then I'll get this other set that just comes on again really big so it's a real productive one the one far over there is called Spartacus That's probably my favorite dinner plate because at last it's sturdy it's one of the sturdier dinner plates it's a really big deep flower that colors it doesn't show it very well with the picture but it's the least fragile dinner plate that I've ever ground so I really like Spartacus. Linda's baby Spartacus So yeah Spartacus. The white one was right Croft r y c r o f t j n j n we go back here so Larry's pointing out this is actually 2 different white varieties that we grow this is right Prof Jan This one's called Boom Boom white. So yeah it's a little different it's a little They call that. They have ball dahlias dinner plate values and decorative dahlias So the decorative are more like these you can tell they're a little different where this is more like a tight ball. Yeah these are kind of more like lotus flowery kind of where this is more like a ball and for us in our market we have found that knowing the names of your varieties it does make a difference especially with the florist at the bridal workers they know the dahlia names and they want to know which ones you have and we sell them by the clump of the name like I want you know 10 Crawford chance you know they know at least in our area that's our experience it's good to know the name and to try to keep them you know we grow them in groups together you know you want to keep them kind of together because it's easier to harvest that way you know you're picking 10 stems and bunching them you don't want to have to go here and here and here to get that same flower so that helps with. Boom Boom White Yeah boom boom white and it's a good one because it's hard to find sometimes good would be productive good sturdy stems because some of their stems are not a sturdy a plant that is like a taller plant because you might have seen it like Lowe's in different places these little Dahlia plants they're kind of shorter Dahlia plants so those aren't designed to be these big tall plants that right Croft Jan is the tallest tell you plant I've ever had it was above my head it was huge it was really fun because it was like a dahlia tree and it had huge them yeah so on these varieties are good for bouquets all the ones that I'm showing you are favorites they're good healthy plants they're sturdy and they're good for bouquet. Except for café it's the only exception. So this one is probably my 3rd favorite maybe this is Nicholas Nicholas comes on late he will not start blooming until like all guest but it's so pretty I mean it's so big the bugs don't really bother it is just a big flower and it's so beautiful nice an orange kind of peachy orange. This one next here is sweet Natalie and they have one called Sweet Natalie that's not the same as sweet Nath. So you want to make sure if you like that color it's with a th naturally and that when it is not super productive but it's a very pretty color so I grow that one I like that one. Say that again Nath Tallie Ok that's how you can remember it. This one is called flu where this is my favorite white dinner plate Dahlia it's huge really big now this one tends to be a shorter plant but the ones that are shorter plants you can what they call forced them into being taller by pinching and really aggressively picking low low low so you might have to sacrifice some buds in the beginning and it will force the plant to eventually make longer stems so where that plants a little not quite as tall but it makes some really beautiful flowers. So what you can do was sometimes when you have shorter maybe you have a of say you have a long stem here you have a nice big flower here and you have a nice flower coming off here you know too low to put in a bouquet you can clip that off and put it in a small mason jar and I will sell little mason jars with short stem flowers that market to people like that to where you can put them in your house for you to enjoy this media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit w w w audio verse or.


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