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Home Blog Succession Planting: How To Keep The Harvest Going All Season Long
February 8th 2016

Succession Planting: How To Keep The Harvest Going All Season Long

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Floret

Floret_Succession Planting-1One of my main goals in writing this blog is to save you time and money by learning from my mistakes. To say that I learned about succession planting the hard way would be putting it mildly! The first year I grew flowers to sell, I was served a big ol’ slice of humble pie. While it was a tough lesson to learn at the time, my experience (or lack thereof) with succession planting taught me that too much of anything, especially blooming at the same time, can be a curse. I now take lots of time planning and plotting the season to come and have much better outcomes as a result.

Floret_Succession Planting-7The first season I grew flowers on any kind of scale (1/4 acre), I knew very little about staggering the harvest through succession planting. In early spring I sowed one huge batch of seeds, planted them all out after the danger of frost had passed and spent the next few months impatiently tending to them as they grew. I didn’t pick a single flower until late June and then in a flash I was swimming in more bounty that I knew what to do with. For the next month and a half I harvested, arranged and delivered flowers from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week.

No matter how hard I worked, or how fast I went, I still couldn’t get everything out of the field. It was heartbreaking to have so much beauty go to waste, especially when I had people wanting to buy it, and I really, really needed the money. By early August, the floral tidal wave subsided and I was left with a few rows of dahlias and zinnias that were still blooming, but that was it.

Floret_Succession Planting-2During the brief floral extravaganza, I had quickly built up a nice little customer base. Fancy city ladies who joined my weekly bouquet subscription, grocery buyers who were thrilled to get organic blooms and a few local wholesalers who seemed intrigued with my unusual heirloom offerings. It was pretty humiliating to have to go back to them and say my flower season was over so quickly. Determined to find a way to do better next year, I threw myself head first into learning everything I could about extending the flower season.

In addition to choosing a wide range of varieties that will flower at different times in the season, it’s also important to stagger each planting. Rather than sowing all of your seeds in one shot, you instead sow small batches, successively, every few weeks. This spreads out the flowering window and the workload, into much more manageable waves.

Floret_Succession Planting-18In late spring and early summer cool weather lovers like Iceland Poppies, Sweet Peas, Larkspur, Bells of Ireland and Honeywort steal the show. High summer brings heat lovers like Globe Amaranth, Zinnias, Celosia, Basil, Cosmos and Chocolate Lace Flower. During the early fall months Amaranth, Grasses, Asters, Rudbeckia and Sunflowers shine.

When creating a succession-planting plan you need to know when your last spring and first fall frosts are. If you don’t already know them, your local county extension office or Master Gardeners group can help. You also need to know how many days each variety takes from seed to flower. This information can be found in the variety description of the catalog or on the seed packets. You’ll notice that some varieties like Calendula come into flower very quickly, in just 55-60 days, so you can squeeze more flowering waves into a season. While other varieties like Black Eyed Susan’s require a much longer growing window of up to 120 days, so fewer successions can be achieved.

Once you know your last fall frost date, simply count backwards the number of days that each variety takes to ripen and that’s the last date that seed can be sown with enough time to flower. (If you’re a spreadsheet kinda gal or guy, Johnny’s Selected Seeds has a downloadable succession seeding chart you can personalize in the Tools & Calculators section of their website).  Because the days get shorter and colder as autumn approaches, plant growth will slow down as the season progresses. To account for this, count back an additional two to three weeks on the very last sowing to ensure the plants have enough time to ripen before frost arrives.

Floret_Succession Planting-16To make the planning process easier, I’ve broken our field and hoop houses up into separate growing blocks. This allows us to plant small batches, every week, without having to increase our labor support over the season. When I was first farming, I was flying solo with only Chris and the kids for help. I had very limited time and labor help, and by breaking things up into smaller pieces, I was able to stay on top of it all. Planting the whole field at once would have been impossible. The same goes with the picking. With smaller blocks of flowers, staggered throughout the season, I was able to stay on top of the cutting without too much struggle.

Floret_Succession Planting-15Floret_Succession Planting-12After a patch of flowers has bloomed and begins to fade, it is pulled out and the beds are replanted within a matter of days. Pictured above, an early summer wave of Campanula and Feverfew in bloom from mid-late June and once done flowering are pulled out, the beds are prepped and a quick Sunflower is put in by mid July for a fall harvest. My goal is to get two crops from each bed within a given year. While it is still a work in progress, this intensive approach allows us to produce a HUGE amount of volume out of a very limited space. Early bloomers like Sweet Peas and Iceland Poppies can be followed with a fast flowering variety such as Pro Cut Sunflowers or Cress.

Floret_Succession Planting-21 Floret_Succession Planting-23There are three main categories I assign annual cutting varieties to:

“Cut and come again” bloomers are true garden workhorses. They produce buckets and buckets of flowers and foliage over a very long period of time and are a great choice for new growers. The more you harvest these flowers, the more the plants produce. Because they are so productive, fewer succession sowings are required. I generally aim for three sowings, three to four weeks apart. Zinnias, Cosmos, Icelandic Poppies, Gomphrena, Pampas Plume Celosia and Basil belong in this category.

“Medium producers” are very productive but don’t have quite as long of a flowering window, so they need to be replanted more often. Amaranth, branching Sunflowers, Snapdragons, Queen Anne’s Lace and Honeywort all fall into this category. I plant these every three weeks.

“One hit wonders” include many easy to grow gems like Bupleurum, Bombay Celosia and single stemmed Sunflowers. For an uninterrupted harvest of these wild fire bloomers, they should be replanted every week or two.

Floret_Succession Planting-11When referencing the following plant suggestions, be sure to keep in mind climate differences. Our farm is located in Washington State where springtime is cool and damp, summer is mildly warm and fall is wet cool. If you are in a warmer, drier climate, then you’ll likely be able to get three to four more sowings of most heat lovers into your season whereas you may need to subtract at least one planting off of anything that likes cooler weather.

I have found that all annuals can be replanted at least once, often twice, with 3-4 weeks between plantings. The following references are based on a best case scenario. Once the season hits it can be really tough to keep on seeding and planting but if you can stick with it, you’ll be generously rewarded!

Floret_Succession Planting-6Cut and come again favorites:

Basil: In our cool climate Basil must be grown in the hoop house for best production. I plant three successions, three weeks apart for a summer and autumn filled with this fragrant foliage.

Cockscomb (Celosia): These fuzzy textural bloomers add interest and color to bouquets. The Pampas Plume mix flowers abundantly for many, many weeks. I aim for three plantings a season, every month until mid summer.

Cosmos: Of all the annual plants you can grow in your cutting garden, few are more productive per square foot than cosmos. The more you cut, the more they bloom. These cheery blooms look great in bouquets. New plants are started every three to four weeks until mid summer.

Dusty Miller: One of the most versatile things you can add to a cutting garden, this silvery accent cranks out buckets and buckets of foliage all summer. I plant one batch in the fall, into the hoop house for late spring picking and then a second patch outside in late spring.

Fiber Optic Grass: The first year I grew this gem, a 4 x 60 foot bed (with 9×9” spacing) produced $1,950 in revenue in one short month long harvest. While the initial customer obsession with it has faded, we still use a generous amount for bouquets and straight bunches all summer long. Each planting produces robustly for about three weeks and then peters out quite rapidly. I aim for five planting, three weeks apart.

Foxglove: While this cottage garden favorite typically falls into the biennial category, modern breeding has blessed us with some very exciting annual flowering varieties. Both the Dalmatian and Camelot series flower the first year from seed. I sow the first batch of plants in the fall and tuck them into the hoop house for early flowers, followed by a late winter and mid spring sowing. This approach provides an uninterrupted harvest of up to four months.

Iceland Poppies (Papaver nudicale): One of the most productive focal flowers we grow, Iceland Poppies have fast become a favorite around here. For extra early spring blooms I start seed in the fall and transplant them to an unheated hoop house before cold weather really sets in. Plants overwinter and come into flower by mid March. I do two more successive sowings, one in late winter that gets transplanted into a hoop in the spring and another a month later that get planted directly into the field. This approach gives us an abundant crop for nearly five months.

Sweet Peas: Few plants rival the production of a healthy patch of sweet peas. In areas with cooler summers like the Pacific Northwest and the UK, sowing seeds from the three flowering groups (winter, spring and summer) can increase the production window. In areas where spring is short, sow two batches of Spencer Sweet Peas (these are what we carry) three weeks apart.

Zinnias: In our cool climate we can’t seem to squeeze more than three rounds of these cheerful bloomers into a summer, planted about 3 weeks apart. Growers in warmer parts of the world succession plant them every week or two from their first spring frost until mid summer.

Floret_Succession Planting-8Floret_Succession Planting-10Medium producers:

Amaranthus: Most varieties are 80-100 days to bloom, so three to four plantings two to three weeks apart will provide a summer of cutting material. Our Chocolate/Cherry Mix includes Opopeo, a brilliant maroon variety with dark foliage that blooms in just 60 short days and can be planted every two weeks through mid summer.

Bachelor Buttons (Centaurea cyanus): I have a love hate relationship with these guys. I love their pretty wildflower blooms in early summer bouquets but I hate picking them. I think everyone feels the same! I direct seed a batch in late fall and then make three to four subsequent sowings about three weeks apart beginning in mid February. I find sowing smaller patches more often allows me to keep up with harvesting and spreads their beauty out over a longer period.

Black Eyed Susan’s (Rudbeckia hirta): I can’t get enough of these richly colored daisy blooms. I plant two successions a month apart for an autumn full of color.

Bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis): Hands down, Bells are the best filler you can grow. Each plant churns out masses of beautiful, fragrant stems that make bouquets look lush and vibrant. Whenever there’s a lull in production I feel lost! Each year I somehow squeeze in another planting of these beauties and most years we enjoy six to seven lush crops. The first and last sowings are planted into the hoop house to protect the towering spike from wet weather. The other five batches are sown three weeks apart and planted outside until mid summer.

Chinese Forget Me Nots (Cynogolssum amiable): This delicate blue treasure is a must grow. Unlike regular Forget Me Nots that are a biennial, these darlings flower the first year from seed. I sow three batches, three weeks apart for a steady spring harvest.

Chocolate Lace Flower (Dacus carota): This large flowered burgundy-chocolate and cream colored Queen Anne’s Lace has been an absolute hit from day one. It looks great en masse, pairs well with almost anything and blooms for most of the summer from just one planting. The lacy umbels come in a range of sizes and shades, adding a dramatic, airy quality to finished arrangements. I sow three batches of seed, a month apart.

Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena haggena): This summer darling is hard working in both the garden and in the vase. The more you cut, the more they bloom. Adorable button like blooms resemble colored clover blossoms and look great in bouquets. They thrive in the heat and are good both fresh and dried. I plant three successions, three weeks apart.

Honeywort (Cerinthe major): This one of my favorite early season fillers. It is super easy to grow and each plant produces so many stems it can be a real struggle to keep it harvested. I opt for smaller plantings, more often to stagger the abundance. I aim for five sowings, beginning in late February, every three weeks.

Satin Flower (Godetia): The first few years we grew way too much at one time and had whole beds go to waste. Godetia is wildly productive and comes on all at once so keep that in mind when planting. Even a small patch can take hours to harvest every morning and if you don’t keep up with it you’ll spend even longer picking off the opened flowers. Smaller plantings make it easier to stay on top of the harvest. I aim for three plantings, roughly every three weeks.

Snapdragons: Like sweet peas, snapdragons are available in different flowering groups and bloom according to day length. To have the longest bloom window possible you’ll want to select varieties from each of the groups. Chantilly’s flower first followed by the Madame Butterfly’s. I sow two batches of each variety, three weeks apart to extend the harvest window.

Sunflowers: It’s no wonder why these cheerful summer bloomers are loved by so many. The branching varieties like Panache produce an abundance of bouquet-sized stems over the course of many weeks. I plant a new wave of seeds every two to three weeks until mid summer.

Larkspur: A great colorful spiky bloom for late spring and early summer bouquets. Flowers come in a wide range of colors and are easy to grow and harvest. If sown two to three times in the fall/winter and again in early spring, up to four or five good crops can be had per season. Larkspur resents transplanting, so be sure to direct seed it into the garden.

Millet (Seteria italica): A great textural addition to late summer and early fall bouquets. It’s easy to grow and does well in poor soil. I plant a wide selection of varieties with varying days to maturity every three weeks until mid summer.

Queen Anne’s Lace: I aim for four plantings starting with one in the fall and three staggered three weeks apart in the spring. The last planting is always quite a bit shorter than the early ones since Queen Anne’s Lace likes to grow in cool, moist soil. But even with the decreased height it’s still a very productive crop.

Floret_Succession Planting-20One Shot Wonders:

Bupleurum: Second to Bells of Ireland, Bupleurum is one of the most useful fillers for bouquet making. Plantings get cut rapidly so you’ll want to keep sowing every week or two as long as you can stand to do so.

Cockscomb (Celosia): These fuzzy textural bloomers add interest and color to bouquets. The Bombay series comes in an incredible range of colors, producing just one bloom per plant. We aim for plantings every 7-10 days, through early summer.

Love in a Mist (Nigella hispanica): This simple little beauty is as wonderful in flower as it is in pod. I direct seed six plantings each season, starting with one in the fall and then every two to three weeks from mid March on.

Sunflowers: One planting of single stemmed sunflowers like those from the Procut or Sunrich series generally blooms for about 10 days to two weeks. For a nice steady harvest, I sow batches every 10 days beginning right after the last spring frost and continuing until mid summer.

I realize that this is a ton of information, but my hope is that it can provide you with a framework to develop your own succession seeding plan that reflects your climate, your space (and time!) and your goals (be sure to read my post, Six Important Questions to Answer Before You Get Started Growing Flowers for more on that).

Putting this together was a real labor of love and I’d truly appreciate your feedback. If you’d please take a minute and share your insights, experience, or questions regarding succession planting for your flower farm or cutting garden that would be amazing. Do you do approach your planning similarly? Are there any tools or tips you’d like to add to the post? Is there a book or article about this topic that you’d care to share a link to? Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.

Finally, one last reminder:   Be sure to get signed up for the Floret newsletter if you aren’t already on the list.  We’re putting the finishing touches on our February edition that you won’t want to miss.  In it you’ll find exciting updates, a killer special offer only available for subscribers, plus helpful resources for showing local flower love this Valentine’s Day. To stay in the loop sign up here.

 

139 Comments

  1. Mia on

    Thank you for the truly useful information!!!

    Reply
  2. Christine O'Driscoll on

    Wow! What a incredibly helpful post! Thank you! For a beginner this information is invaluable.

    Reply
  3. Jennifer on

    Wow, thank you for this information! I’m in Yakima WA and our frost free dates are May 15- Oct 1. Do you recommend planting the cut and come again varieties every couple weeks? I’m excited to get your book! Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Andrea on

    I can’t wait to get my hands dirty, but it’s March 5, and still snowing here on the “drier” side of the state. Snow forecast all week. I think my season will too short this year, but I will know what to do next year. Thank you for your generosity.

    Reply
  5. Lisa OBrien on

    Thanks so very much for this info. A farmer friend just asked me to pinch-hit for his flower supplier who is not growing this year. This information is priceless in terms of getting my beds up and running. So very grateful!

    Reply
  6. Deseree' on

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!! Seriously thank you! I seriously can’t get enough of all your information! For a total novice like me – this information is priceless!!! Can’t thank you enough. So excited to try this out this year!

    Reply
  7. Alison on

    Thank you so much for sharing these pearls.

    Reply
  8. Susan on

    Wow! Thank you so much for all these helpful tips!
    We will be standing on your shoulders as we have success in this.

    Reply
  9. Elisabeth on

    This is awesome! I’m in year one and attempted a succession planting calendar. I was on point with some and off with others. Time to get out the pencil and make some adjustments. THANK YOU!

    Reply
    • Team Floret on

      Great! So happy to hear it is helpful, Elisabeth. Good luck with your first season!

  10. Beth on

    This is all so very helpful. As a beginner flower grower, I can’t thank you enough for the time you take in sharing what you have learned. I do have a question for you. I have experience succession planting with vegetables but am having just a little bit of a challenge wrapping my head around it for flowers. I see your image on the newly prepped succession bed – so I am guessing that there were still live plants that were maybe even still flowering a little, then you pulled them or tilled them under – is that correct? When you initially succession plant, are you generally planting out full rows to begin with and then rotating a new succession elsewhere or do you plant only part of the row then fill that row in with new seedlings as they come on – like in waves? Or do you have full rows that are still flowering and you just kind of know that they are at the time to replace with seedlings you have already going? Maybe its a little of all of these. Any additional guidance here would be wonderful. Thank you!

    Reply
  11. Idalisse on

    We just purchased a home and I decided I would plant a flower garden with my daughters so we could have fresh flowers in our home during the summer and fall season. I found you through your article on BHG this month and I am so glad I did. I just love your blog, all of your pictures and these stunning flowers. I have never planted anything so I have much to learn. I got your book and I am soaking up everything from your blog! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!

    Reply
  12. Debi on

    My goal this year is to do a better job at succession planting. This information is very valuable and extremely helpful as I plan my flower plantings. Thank you!

    Reply
  13. Mary on

    Just discovered you in better homes and garden. Wow, loved reading all about your succession planting. I’m ready to start. I’ve never started seeds in doors but you have inspired me. I’m in New York zone 6a.

    Reply
  14. Liz on

    Thank you so much Erin and the team for all the incredibly detailed, invaluable information you’re sharing. For a long time I’ve been working for someone who sneers at planning and as a natural planner, I’ve felt very demoralised. Getting involved with the flower growing community and reading all your brilliant planning resources and knowing there are like minded people out there who are really making this work has been a real confidence boost and fills me with hope. I can’t wait to read your book. Thanks you for all your hard work and encouragement. All the best for this year.

    Reply
  15. Jennifer on

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. How the heck did you know what to plant? The abundance of choices is staggering. How did you learn all of the different types of flowers?

    Reply
  16. Tobey on

    I am so grateful that you share your successes and failures with us all! Most appreciated.

    Reply
  17. Alexandra Ward on

    I guess you always read about successive sowing for veg, but somehow it doesn’t naturally occur to the beginner to approach flower growing the same way (where possible), there is more information about using different species to ‘extend the season’ rather than making a particular flower productive for longer. This is a revelation, thank you for sharing and taking the time to right this post!

    Reply
  18. Clarissa on

    As a first year flower farmer, you have no idea how helpful this is. Actually, you do. That’s why you did it. Thank you so much. You are truly a ‘God send’.

    Reply
  19. Garden Planning: Part 4 Create A Seed Starting Schedule | Fresh Homestyle on

    […] Some varieties like zinnias that bloom over a long span of time only need to be sown once, where other varieties like sunflowers that come on like wild fire and are gone in a flash should be planted in waves to extend the harvest. For an in-depth explanation of how to spread out the flower harvest by succession planting your seeds, be sure to read this post before proceeding: Succession Planting: How To Keep The Harvest Going All Season Long […]

    Reply
  20. Garden Planning: Part 4 Create A Seed Starting Schedule - Floret Flowers on

    […] Some varieties like zinnias that bloom over a long span of time only need to be sown once, where other varieties like sunflowers that come on like wild fire and are gone in a flash should be planted in waves to extend the harvest. For an in-depth explanation of how to spread out the flower harvest by succession planting your seeds, be sure to read this post before proceeding: Succession Planting: How To Keep The Harvest Going All Season Long […]

    Reply
  21. Mary on

    This info is amazing, I am starting my own business on a very small scale this year, so this info is so helpful. Thanks. I agree your flowers are surreal. You are amazing.

    Reply
  22. Samantha on

    I’m on a marathon reading of your blog and have to say on this post I love the links to your seeds. Its so helpful as a visual person.

    Reply
  23. Alissa on

    I am a new flower farmer, only in my second year of business, and I just want to say that I have read several of your very informative posts and the have been extremely helpful! Thank you so very much for sharing your hard earned knowledge. I have added a few new flowers to my selection due to the things that I have read on your blog and I’m super excited to try out some of the verities that you have tested! Also your flowers all look incredible and the work that you do is truly fantastic! You inspire me. Thank you again for not only being a sustainable flower farmer, but sharing your knowledge and wisdom with others.

    Blessings,
    Alissa Cockroft
    MissAliss Blooms: A Flower Farm

    Reply
  24. Kristen on

    Hey Erin,
    Just wanted to reach out to say “thanks” for all the stuff you have been publishing lately at blog. The idea of Bupleurum really appeal me. Can you suggest me from where can i get them?
    Keep up the awesome work :)
    Cheers,
    Kristen

    Reply
  25. Holly Shiach on

    Thanks Erin! Such great info and just what I was after as I’m stretching out late summer seeding in Aus ? (With adjustments for our hot climate!) Thankyou

    Reply
  26. Anu Jokela / hilmatellervo.tumblr.com on

    Hi Erin

    Thank you so much for charing all this information. I have a 600 square feet allotment in Helsinki (Finland) where I grow cut flowers for my own pleasure (and for the pleasure of my friends, family, neigbours, passers by….). My allotment yelded a good crop already on it’s first year last summer, thanks to your advice on plant spacing. At the moment planning this year, learning succession planting, again using your fab advice. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so generous with your knowledge! Sending you a big snowy hug from my now snow covered allotment.

    Reply
  27. Dennis Burkhardt on

    Erin,
    I’ll add my deep gratitude for all the help and support that you and your staff push out.
    This will be my second year of growing flowers for sale and re-reading some info certainly means more to me this time around.
    A question I had this year was how much of a stem to harvest if there are more buds below the flower? Zinnia…has a flower that’s open and 8″below has two buds that are 10 days away from opening. Where would I make the cut? Similarly for Cosmos and others.
    Also, is there a bloom stabilizer that you like to use?

    Thanks again
    Dennis

    Reply
  28. Lori Hernandez on

    Erin,
    You are such a blessing. I was sitting at home with seed catalogs, charts, graph paper and a calculator in front of me, stressing about what to grow and when, but mostly, wondering how the heck I figure out how to do succession planting!!!! This post was INCREDIBLY helpful. I bookmarked it so I can read it again and take notes in my planting binder. And thanks for sharing the Planning Tools and Calculator link to Johnny’s Select Seed. I was just telling my husband last night I needed some sort of program/tool to help me with planning. This is EXACTLY what I need.

    We are starting a U-Cut flower farm in MI this summer and it’s essential that I have a good selection of flowers and foliage blooming all summer long to attract customers (especially highly visible showstoppers, like sunflowers and dahlias, that people will see as they drive by the farm).

    I wish I knew more about sowing seeds in the fall for early spring crops. With our bitter cold winters, I’m not sure if that is an option. I’ve started lettuce, kale and spinach in the fall in my unheated greenhouse and grown it over the winter (Eliot Coleman style), but not sure how that translates to flowers.

    We’re also coming to realize that need to build a hoophouse (or 2) in order to get the results we want…and sooner than later. I’d love to read more about your hoophouses.

    I’ve been reading every book about flower farming/farm business that I can get my hands on! You should see the stack on my bedside table – literally 2 feet high. I can’t wait to add your book to that pile! I’ve already pre-ordered, but seriously having a hard time being patient. :)

    Thanks for ALL your help,
    Lori

    Reply
  29. Amy on

    Erin, thank you so much for all this information! This year was my first year selling zinnias, snaps and ageratum to the 2 florists in my hometown. But I have a question. When you mention planting “small batches” of flowers like Honeywort or Bachelor’s Buttons, how many plants would that be? I’m working solo (except with the sometimes grudging help of my children). What is a good target number for one person to handle at harvest?

    Reply
  30. Jamie on

    Hello…
    I love your site, your blog is full of sooo much valuable info.
    I am wondering what the flowers cut and laid out in the photo right below your little blurb on ” one hit wonders” are?
    Thanks so much for sharing all your knowledge amongst your busy life. I know what it’s like farming with a family.

    Reply
    • Floret on

      Jamie, those are godetia (Clarkia amoena). Thanks for your kind words!

  31. Melissa Brauneis on

    Hi, and thank you so much for the abundance of information, well thought out, and made inviting with all your beautiful pictures.

    I just have one desire to see added, as a newbie, or hopeful newbie honestly, you talk about sowing first in the fall for over the winter on some of the plants. Can you mention the USDA hardiness zone guidelines for this. I would hate to decide to plant something and find that sow will not grow and loose out on an earlier crop. This is just to decrease time spend cross referencing to other sites, which honestly isn’t hard to do, but might be something nice to add if you are looking for an easy look guide.

    Reply
  32. Sara on

    A wealth of valuable information! Thank you!

    Reply
  33. Amy Bee on

    Erin, thank you again for these posts, all so very helpful!

    Reply
  34. Esme on

    Erin yiur AMAZiNG!! You share the best most thorough information. So helpful!!! Thank you!!!

    Reply
  35. Alysa on

    You have the most helpful information I have ever found! Thank you so much!

    Reply
  36. Emliy on

    I just discovered these posts, and they are hugely helpful!! My husband and I are in the process of setting up a small farm. Our farming experience so far has been with veggies and pigs, but it seems like there could be a decent untapped market for flowers here, and we don’t have huge amounts of crop land, so we’re trying a micro flower experiment this summer, mostly to gauge interest (both potential customers and ours!). Your style of farming fits well with how we already farm, so these posts have been an amazing resource so far. I’m not sure if you’re planning to post about this (so not to worry if so), but wondering how you price your flowers? Thanks!

    Reply
  37. Sasha @ Sydney Landscapers on

    You are truly a goldmine in terms of flowers and how to grow them wisely! Thanks a lot for the advices and the knowledge you share with the readers, I think amateurs can learn a lot from you! Congrats for you success so far, wishing you all the best!

    Reply
  38. Janice Jenkins on

    Hi Erin,

    Thank you for the detailed succession planting information of the different flowers. This is great to have all these details. I enjoy flower arranging and want to grow some flowers for my arrangements.

    I am looking forward to your next post. Will you be giving information of where to purchase supplies – fertilizers, grid marked landscape cloth?

    I live in coastal British Columbia, Canada .
    Looking forward to your reply.
    Jan

    Reply
  39. Laura vollset on

    Absolutely fantastic post. It’s the nitty gritty and specifics of all this that I need right now. It gives me a sense of exactly what todo when and with what rather than just guessing, saving mistakes, money and time.Thanks so much! The more specific the better!!!

    Reply
  40. "Elizabeth "Leesa" Stork on

    Thank-you so much for the informative piece. This will be my first season of planting and selling and was feeling a bit overwhelmed. I’m now a little less frazzeled. Looking forward to this class in May

    Reply
  41. Candydawn on

    Thank you! This is such great info. I am from the Denver area, so flowers/varieties will change, but the skeleton and thought processes you shared will make the experiment of trading a one vegetable bed to a personal cutting garden more enjoyable.

    Reply
  42. Dennis Burkhardt on

    Hello again.
    A quick question..
    After you pull out spent blooms, how much do you read fertilize the bed?
    I was reading an article in the Resources section about DIY arrangements. It mentioned waxed chicken wire to anchor the flowers. Why can’t I use regular chicken wire?
    This whole series is so, so awesome.
    Thank you so much
    Dennis

    Reply
    • Floret on

      Hi Dennis,

      Tomorrow I’m posting our bed prep recipe, so stand by. And you can certainly use regular chicken wire. The wax coated just doesn’t rust, that’s why I like it better.

  43. Suzanne on

    Outstanding post! Your BEST yet. Which is saying a lot because you’re one heck of a writer and you’ve shared great information along the way. But despite all my research this is the first time I’ve seen succession information for so many flowers in ONE place – it can be hard to pull a bit of info from here and more from there, and not finding it at all for some flowers. LOVE the tidbit about one planting of single stem sunflowers blooming for just over a week – I wasn’t sure just how fast they would come on. Planting results from my own location will be the best info, but it’s great not to have to wait a year to figure out the timing by hit-or-miss experience alone. With your guidance this first year will go much more smoothly. I’m going to fine tune my projected planting schedule after I spend a couple of hours studying all the info you packed into this article. Thank you and the Floret team!

    Reply
  44. Jamie Peterson on

    Erin, I just want to say THANK YOU. Your blog is top notch and I love, love reading it. :)

    Reply
  45. Michelle Shackelford on

    This is an amazing post. It is easily adaptable to different climate zones too. Thanks Erin!

    Reply
  46. Tsian on

    Thank you for this wonderful post! It really was a lot of information and I very much appreciate the time and effort it takes to write such a detailed blog post. I will be starting my floral farm soon (actually a test farm on a 1/4 acre) and I find your blog very insightful. I feel like I can take on the world!

    Reply
  47. Linda Q on

    Thanks for the great post! I found out the hard way that some flowers have to be direct seeded or they will not grow taller enough for bouquets and nigella is one of those! I succession planted two batches that I started indoors and they were both short- I was able to use the pods though to decorate mini pumpkins. Statice was another challenge- my second batch never bloomed and then I read somewhere that the seedlings needed a cool period after germination.

    Reply
  48. Natalie Jones on

    I am new to your newsletter as of today. So excited to read all the information.
    What are you doing to prevent powdery mildew and chewing bug’s?
    Have you had any problems with deer or groundhogs?
    Thank you for sharing. I am a new flower farm in the mountains of N.C.
    This will be my first year.
    Wish me luck.
    Natalie

    Reply
  49. Linda Doan on

    this is so helpful and comes at just the right time!!

    Reply
  50. The Lavender Patch on

    Thank you for the blessing of this information. Succession planting is one of those challenges for me. As a homeschooling mom, most days I’m doing good to just get things planted within the growing window and before it’s too late to get a harvest. Your informative blog is helping me sort through the planning process which I know is the biggest challenge I face in my garden. Another challenge I have is loving too many flowers and my seed acquisition usually outweighs my available time and space restrictions. Our youngest daughter has a love of flowers and has an eye for arranging so we’re learning together. So I search for the balance between space and time and flowers and vegetables. At present, my family needs to adjust to the fact they may have to learn how to love eating flowers throughout the winter because I got carried away and planted every inch of available vegetable space to flowers :) that’s what it’s all about, right?

    Reply
  51. Amber on

    just brilliant! thank you so much for taking the time to share this information – it is so helpful and clear. we’re a long way away from the last Spring frost here in upstate New York but i’ve ordered my seeds (many from Floret!) and i’m anxious to begin my first big cutting garden! thanks to you, i feel a little more like i know what i’m doing!

    Reply
  52. Sarah on

    Such great posts this month! I’m curious how your roses are doing. Are you growing them in the field or in houses? How long from planting to harvesting? Thanks Erin!

    Reply
  53. Christi on

    Packed with so much information in this post… I will surely visit again and again!

    Thank you, thank you for taking so much time and care into listing so much detail!

    Christi
    (Texas)

    Reply
  54. Lori on

    Succession planting whether for flowers on vegetables is always a problem for me. I don’t like leaving bare ground for the second batch of seed which was planted three weeks later mainly because I have such little space available. As you suggest, I need to spend more time planning before planting. Thank you for this post. I know it must have taken a lot of your precious time.

    Reply
  55. Kyler on

    Erin,
    As always I love reading your articles. I have been spending many hours working my planting schedule out and this was a great resource to double check/ adjust my spreadsheet. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! You are a rockstar,
    Kyler

    Reply
  56. katherine on

    Thank you so very much for sharing your experience! I am soaking all of this information in as I plan for my first year of selling flowers. You are an inspiration!

    Reply
  57. Miggs on

    Thank you again for this helpful information. I look forward to information on your use of landscape fabric especially making the holes, securing the fabric. I would like to know especially if you plant delphiniums in your garden rows as well? If you do, I was wondering how close to plant those to each other.
    I have read a lot of posts/articles on planting, managing flower growing and yours are full of real information, clear, well-written, specific, and happily illustrated.

    Reply
  58. Kelly on

    You’ve squeezed more information in one blog post than in six months of scribbled notes, text readings, trials and spreadsheets (yuk!). Thank you for sharing so openly your successes, failures and knowledge.

    Reply
  59. Alison on

    Wow this post is so incredibly helpful! Something that would be even more helpful is knowing which varieties you direct sow? It’s helpful knowing which you do in the hoophouse since many of us don’t have the space for this, but knowing what you direct sow would be even better :) Thank you Erin!!!!

    Reply
  60. Carolyn on

    This is exactly the type of information I have been searching for. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Reply
  61. Jada on

    Thank you so much for all this invaluable information! I am still under two feet of snow here in the intermountain west so really all I am able to do is to continue to plan. After this post I will be making quite a few tweaks to my spreadsheets. It all just seems so overwhelming! This will be my first full year and I am so confused about perennials and if they have a place amongst all these annuals. I am trying to optimize everything on my 1 acre and I am curious if perennials are worth the space they will consume? I do not have any plans, right now, to add roses and bushes to my small area, due to both space and actual lack of knowledge about them. But flowers such as rudbeckia, echinacea, and chrysanthemum seem like a no brainer until you take into account the amount of space they will consume and the months and months of no blooms. They really seem to defy all the information you just gave above. Once again, I certainly do appreciate all of the information you have so generously posted about over the last few weeks!

    Reply
  62. marybeth on

    As always I very much appreciate your willingness to share your experiences and increasing knowledge. As you sow successively, do you replant the same variety in an area that you dig up or do you rotate different flowers into the beds? With a limited area to work with ( about half an acre) I’m really having to consider the best way to sow to maximize continued blooms to sell. Thanks again for helping us all!!! ?

    Reply
  63. Colette on

    This is such great information! I’m a home gardner who loves flowers and I really appreciate learning your techniques and just the huge scope of how you tend to your property! I am such an amateur that I just seed once and then I am just grateful for what does grow. I’ll start organizing now and I’m sure there will be some improvement. I am especially excited about growing sweet peas again!! They are one of my favorites and thank you also for offering such beautiful varieties!

    Reply
  64. Krystal on

    Thank you for this series of posts! It feels like I am getting a glimpse into the workshop that I wasn’t quick enough to sign up for this year. I’m in the very early phase of starting to grow flowers for myself and a business some time in the future and appreciate your generous knowledge and guidance! I’m curious what you suggest your most important step for preparing soil for planting is? Especially a site that is currently lawn! Thanks again!

    Reply
  65. Kate on

    This blog has been a godsend! I am ever so thankful for your wealth of information! I’m in Montreal, Qc, Canada and will be launching my first commercial growing this spring. You’ve been a real inspiration!!

    Reply
  66. Beth on

    Hi,

    Thanks so much for these posts – very informative. I’m specifically interested in how your region compares to mine – central North Carolina – and how I should tweak your plant selections for my area.

    Beth

    Reply
  67. Emily Nekl on

    This is great information, thank you. How do you do successions with scabiosa? It’s so great that you are so sharing of your research – the work you are doing is so wonderful for so many reasons!

    Reply
  68. Noelle on

    I just fell uipon your site by accident and am so grateful to have found you! What a great post and the growing tips on individual flowers is fantastic. What an amazing job you’ve done! I’m going to read everything thoroughly – if at any point you have precise instructions for larkspur, I’d be ever so grateful. Every year I sow a few flats plus a couple of packets in the garden and only once have they come up. Total mystery to me. Thank you and best of luck to you – I’ll be reading regularly!

    Reply
    • Suzanne on

      Dear Noelle,
      This year I’m trying a trick the Arnoskys wrote about that they call “priming” larkspur seed. They put it in a small plastic bag, add a bit of water, leave it overnight in the fridge, carefully pour off the extra water (I used a bit of paper toweling to help suck up the last bit), then return to the fridge for a few weeks of chilling. I’m hoping this will allow me to successfully succession plant larkspur into June this year if I prime more seed every month!

  69. Ashley Stark on

    This information is so amazing! I really can’t thank you enough for taking the time to write these posts:) I look forward to reading more!

    Reply
  70. Catherine on

    Thanks Erin for such a great post. I always have good intentions to succession sew my seeds and then time gets away from me and I don’t end up doing it! You have renewed my determination to get on top of it this year and with your helpful advice I have no excuses!

    Reply
  71. Wendy Williams on

    Here in Tennessee – Thank you SOOOO much for your generous post. This has helped me with what and when to plant. I spent approx 5 hours on Johnnys Charts today and got it down to 1 chart that will work spectacular for me (lots of tweeking). We (my daughter Ashley [you are her mentor and she is the flower arranger and most sales – I do the seeding, planting, growing]) and I look forward to all of your posts. Can’t wait for your book to come out!!!

    Reply
  72. Sherry on

    Was just re-reading your article and thought of another question. Love the pic showing the ground being prepared for a succession planting. You mentioned planting Sunflowers in a row that had been planted with fever few. I’m assuming that in order to keep down disease and pest problems the same variety of flower should never be planted sequentially in the same bed. But are there some rules of thumb concerning what flowers should be planted in succession of certain varieties. I’m wondering specifically is it ok to plant Sunflowers in a bed that just had zinnia’s, or should poppies never be planted right after celosia?

    Reply
  73. Pam S on

    Thank you for the incredible wealth of information. The advice means even more knowing you paid a heavy price to gain it. I can’t wait to plant my Bells of Ireland I received from you last week. Thank you for all you add to the industry of growers and arrangers.

    Reply
  74. Dawn-Hydrangea Home on

    Thanks so much for all of this great info!! I am still in the planning stages (needing to remove a load of trees before I begin). Hoping to have a prepped garden soon!! I have been so inspired by you, your gorgeous flowers and advice! Very excited for your success:)

    Reply
  75. Cill on

    Wonderful post with such great information. We have limited space indoors for starting plants but a long growing season so I thought I would buy plugs for my first planting, then direct seed the remainder. My problem is finding a good source for plugs. Do you ever use plugs or can you recommend a source?

    Reply
  76. Monica Highmark on

    Thank you for all the valuable information and your willingness to share it. I have been a gardener for 35 years but have realized over the years that there is always more to learn. With my short (approx. 95 day) growing season, succession planting has always intimidated me but this year armed with the information from you, I will try it on a few of my crops. I also am going to try to be better about keeping up on planting out my single stem sunflowers every 10 days too, instead of being overloaded with blooms I can’t sell or use. You are a inspiration to this old gardener. Thank you again for sharing your gift with all of us.

    Reply
  77. Megan Illingworth on

    So inspiring, and such practical information! I’ve got work to do!

    Reply
  78. Broadturn Farm on

    Nice work sharing super juicy details for growers! A rising tide lifts all boats and your thoughtful educational approach is well received by many. -Stacy

    Reply
  79. Carole Mapes on

    As an organic flower grower I would be interested to learn more about what you use as flower preservatives.

    Reply
  80. Ronda on

    Thank you for your insights. Are you sowing your Bells of Ireland directly into the ground or starting them and transplanting?

    Reply
  81. Barbara Ayers, Waverly School Farm on

    This is definitely an area where I need to improve, thanks so much for your excellent guidance. My current question is: What are your earliest blooming filler flowers? We are picking anemones, ranunculus and poppies right now, and are wishing for some pretty fillers and different blossom shapes for our bouquets. Getting by on raiding the arugula patch for little flowering stems, and stealing some foliage from the shelling peas. (Our sweet peas are not even close!) What do you manage to get going early in the season?

    Reply
  82. Killoran on

    Fantastic! Thanks for another beautiful and wonderfully informative post. I love the Bells of Ireland – I’ve never seen them in person (for real), but they look like little alien plants.

    I share Yara’s question. Succession planting is so, so important for people with a small amount of space, but it can be trickier to figure out/manage. I’m hoping to pick up two more lots, and that’ll at least allow me to get one going early, and then plant a couple more waves and sort of rotate things a bit.

    Thanks for the spreadsheet link! I’ve made a seed inventory (with colour-family! Whyyyyy did I do that?!) and I’m working on my planting guide, which is crazy handy, but also surprisingly tough when you don’t actually know how long things bloom for in your area. But I’m learning and even these tiny things (making spreadsheets) are so helpful!

    Reply
  83. Melissa on

    Thank you so much for this information. I truly appreciate the time you devote to writing each of your posts. Keep them coming!

    Reply
  84. Katie Farm 58 on

    This is wonderful and so helpful. Thank you for the time and energy you put into it.

    Reply
  85. Celia on

    I was JUST standing in the area where we are going to start our flower farm with my father this past weekend trying to figure out where and how to do our succession planting, so this was perfect! Thank you and the Floret team for sharing so much valuable information, you’re like the Tesla of flower farms! I will certainly be using this to alter my spreadsheets (which I struggle with because I would love to just throw seeds out into the soil and hope for the best). What do you suggest for people who want to start seeds early to transplant into the ground and don’t have a greenhouse to put them in once they germinate (still too early to put them in the ground, and we don’t have hoop houses yet)…or should I just make the push to build a small greenhouse to start off with? Can I start plants straight into the soil for later successions?

    Thank you again!

    Reply
    • Floret on

      Thanks for your kind words, Celia! I know quite a few growers that don’t have greenhouses and start virtually all of their seed indoors under grow lights. It can be done! Other options include partnering with someone who has a greenhouse and can tend your starts for you or to buy plugs and have them shipped to you on the dates you want to succession plant them. Good luck!

    • Sarah on

      Hi Celia, I dont have a greenhouse either and have had great success starting all my transplants in a shed under grow lights with heat mats and a fan. In this situation it is easy to control the variables so that different varieties will have the temperature and conditions they need. They are then hardened off gradually before transplant into the big world. It works really well for me and for most varieties much more effective than direct seeding where the seeds have to survive heavy rains, birds and weed competition. Good luck!

  86. Donna on

    Thank you for all of the information and suggestions. Beautiful photographs!

    I’m tempted to try it all but will exercise some self-restraint. Haha!

    Reply
  87. Rebecca Pratt on

    Greetings from Maine! Thank you for your amazing information and your generous spirit! I hate to pile on with more questions but I am curious about the material you use for the vines to crawl up vertically. Also will you be posting about this burning holes in the landscape fabric- I suppose we can just cut “X” in the fabric but your way looks so tidy! blessings!

    Reply
  88. Stephanie on

    Another Awesome Post! Thanks Erin!

    Reply
  89. Erin on

    Wonderful posts! So timely-soaking seeds now to plant in cells tomorrow! A heartfelt thank you for your selfless sharing of time and talent! May God bless the entire Floret crew with a fun, prosperous and healthy 2016!

    Reply
  90. Angela Bradley on

    My first year growing flowers was last year. I planted everything in the Spring and no more. I did pretty good but need to learn so much. This year I am going to try to do so much better. I never knew how to plant in succession. I am going to try my best. I love everything you do. Everything you grow is Beautiful! I am so grateful to be able to read your blogs and learn so much. Thank you for being so beautiful and sharing with us the things you do.

    Reply
  91. Loren on

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this information. This will be my first year doing succession planting and I am so excited. Your posts are a great resource!!

    Reply
  92. Katie on

    Thank you for this series of posts! Planting lots of flowers is just a dream right now but this is sure to encourage that dream to reality sooner and more successfully!

    Reply
  93. Steven on

    Love, love, love all the information you have provided us in this post (which I would argue is not available really anywhere else on the internetz) Unknowingly, we have been doing single succession planting, even with one-hit-wonders like the Bombay celosia, then having too much all at once, then nothing at all. This post is a total game-changer, and is going to be very helpful for us to ensure that we generate a continual cycle of blooms. Thank you!!!!

    Reply
  94. Carly on

    This is huge?Thank you for all the time dedicating to putting this magic together

    Reply
  95. Stephanie on

    Ever since combing through old “Growing for Market” articles and doing a Floret workshop, this is exactly how I plan my season now. Finally, planning makes sense!! To take it a step further from graph paper, stickies, legal pad pages, penciled in maps with plenty of eraser marks to computer, I decided to try “AgSquared” this season. So far, so amazingly good! The program keeps a schedule of all your successions which is printable each week. Super helpful and usable for someone who does not create spreadsheets. Thank you for all your details and time!

    Reply
  96. Sophie on

    Erin, seriously amazing and helpful information!! Thank you for being so incredibly generous with your knowledge!
    Sophie

    Reply
  97. Lynn on

    Wow!! Another super informative post! You are so generous with your information, you’re WAY better than a book, and it’s exactly what I’ve been hunting for – cannot wait for the rest – THANK YOU!

    Reply
  98. Yara on

    Hi Team Floret!! Holy cow this is a ton of super priceless info. You guys are amazing. I have no idea how you have made time to write this. Thank you, thank you! Hopefully this isn’t a stupid question- I am a backyard gardener I do some succession planting already, but I’m wondering when you succession plant for one variety- say zinnias, or snaps, would you break your growing bed into thirds and transplant your seedlings out into that same bed every three weeks? If you had limited space and only one small bed per flower variety? Thanks for all that you do!!!

    Reply
  99. Line i Alvehagen on

    Once again; thanks! I had my first proper go at successional sowing last year. Spring was freakishly cold and everything took an eon to get going, so it didn’t pan out: My first and second sowingings flowered at the same time. Must try harder!

    Reply
  100. Tracy Huntley on

    Your blog, as always, is so informative. Thank you for sharing so much valuable information. We greatly appreciate it!!!

    Reply
  101. Heather on

    Great post, thank you. I never thought this would work in my climate with a growing season of 90-100 days but last year I tried it. I did three sowings of snaps, two of icelandic poppies and two of zinnias. I did not do it with sunflowers and regretted it. Threw so much out. My question is how do you keep the field prepped when you are planting so frequently. Do you prep a whole row and just plant half? How do you keep weeds from popping up, even if you have fabric down?

    Reply
  102. Nicolette on

    THANK YOU so much for sharing your knowledge and experience! As a new “larger scale” grower this year – just under 1 acre – I have been unsure of where to start in planning my successions. Your post today came at the absolute perfect time. I am excited to keep adjusting my planting spreadsheet, ordering more seeds and plugs and waiting for the ground to dry out enough to get to work. Your posts are truly a god-send for me! I look forward to future posts about building the soil, compost, etc.

    Reply
  103. Emmy on

    Hello from Anglesey, North Wales, UK.
    Thank you very much for your very helpful blog. Our winter has been extremely wet and our cottage has been flooded out twice! My little field is still very wet. I dream in the winter of the time that I can start planting out there.

    Reply
  104. Jessica on

    Love love loving this blog series! When you say you sow your first round in mid February is this in a greenhouse in trays, in a hoop house direct seeded or in the field undercover? I imagine all of the above but I thought I’d ask

    Reply
  105. Kathy on

    Oh my, this is just what I needed. I’ve just never been able to process what happens… I have tons of zinnias, and then their gone. Bam! So, this year I’ll plant a couple of times and sunflowers too I’m trying cosmos now. The seeds have sprouted under the lights so I’m really excited. I’ll start more soon. Thank you. I love your thank you notes, and how to grow sheets. My goodness you certainly do give us a lot.

    Reply
  106. Terri Bowlby-Chiasson on

    This is great, Erin and Floret Team…thank you so much for breaking the flowers into the categories as you did…I have more tweaking to do on my spreadsheets!….there is so much to learn, but it is so much easier with a ‘seasoned’ grower sharing her wealth of experience as you have done for us!…by the way…is there a “Cut Flower Grower” magazine…?? Would you create one??
    Thank you!…from snowy Nova Scotia, Canada (dreaming of fields of flowers!)

    Reply
  107. Alaina noel on

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us! It is a huge help to me and others!

    Reply
  108. Gloria Jean Cestero-Hurd on

    Eye candy and good information – the combination is priceless and I sincerely thank you for it. That said I am wondering if you have any recommendations for software programs. I’ve contacted Longwood Gardens, the NY Botanical Gardens, Cornell and my local flower farming communities and they are pretty much working off experience and spreadsheets. The veggies industry is saturated, but flowers – not so much. Warmest regards . . . .

    Reply
  109. Sarah on

    Thank you so much for this post!!! Question: do you ever replant the same beds with the next batch of the same plants or do you move everything around?

    Reply
  110. Amber on

    Hi Erin,

    Hello from Delta BC! Thank you so much for sharing your vast wealth of knowledge with everyone.

    I have to say I was about to repeat your first year mistake, having already started my seeds for planting out after last frost, and not planning second or third plantings. I had no idea of the tools and resources out there to help calculate these plantings.

    I’ve loved all of the February posts and cannot wait to see what the rest of the month holds. I am especially loving the technical aspects of growing.

    Thank you again!
    Amber McBride

    Reply
  111. Sherry on

    My head is spinning!! Since zinnia’s are the only thing I have plans to grow this year I just went straight to zinnia’s. I just couldn’t take in everything else. What an amazing long term wealth of information. Every blog you post just increases my confidence. I can’t do everything, but you are giving me the resources I need to go and find a way to do one thing well. I had only planned to plant one row of seeds as a test garden this spring, but this article is helping me see the possibility of planting a row every two or three weeks and actually having enough blooms to sell earlier than I had hoped to. Thank you very much.

    Reply
    • Heather on

      I feel the same way! Focusing on zinnias this year to start my learning process. :-)

  112. Julie @ Garden Delights on

    Thank you! You’re so incredibly generous with your knowledge, and I hope you know how much it’s appreciated! (I just planted my sweet peas I purchased from you–can’t wait for their beautiful blooms!) My friend is starting a market flower garden, and I told her that she MUST read all of your wonderful advice. Thank you, thank you!!

    Reply
  113. Lindsey on

    Holy-Moly you guys are busy! How do you find time to blog?! Not sure how, but I’m So very glad you do! I’m a home gardener that would Love to expand in the future. Just wondering when starting out how many different flowers did you grow? Would you recommend doing multiple different flowers or stick to a handful of tried and true? Also your first year did you offer a CSA share or go straight to florists? I’m So excited for your book! Thank you for sharing your love and passion with your “extended flower family” -Blessings!

    Reply
  114. Ann on

    First off,WOW! I’m sitting here dumb founded by all the information you just freely put forth! I honestly feel so blessed to have discovered you just a few short weeks ago. You are the epitome of someone who posse’s the gift of mentoring! My thoughts now go to the fact that I need to order more seeds. Thinking if I plant 2 seeds per cell, and knock off the weaker one, that will deplete my supply rather quickly. Is this a correct logic about the 2 seeds? Also, as far as viability of the seeds in the package from yr to yr ,What is the best way to store them for use the following season? Will I be taking a big time risk to see if they germinate next year since their this yrs lot?

    Reply
  115. Ali on

    Great info! Thank you Erin ?

    Regarding growing for your climate, I found the spring sunshine series to be a better option than Spencer’s in Chicago where it gets hot and humid. Just my .02 cents

    Reply
  116. JC on

    Hi-

    Your article was GREAT! I have a question regarding celoisa. You have listed celoisa as both a “cut and come again” and a “one cut crop.” I know that Pampas Plume will continue to produce, but what about the other cockscomb varieties? You have them listed as both. Is there ones that are only one cut like Bombay, but while others like Kurume,Chief, or Cramers that branches into multiple heads/stems?

    Reply
  117. Jordan on

    SO helpful!! Thank you!! Ok, I am just a little confused on honeywort…are you direct seeding into the garden beginning in late February (I’m in Zone 8b- Washington state too:) or do you start them in indoors and wait until the last frost date to plant outside?

    Also, do you have any tips for succession planting the vines (cup and saucer and love in a puff)? Not sure what to do with those yet…

    Thank you!!

    Reply
  118. Mary Hegnes on

    Thank you so much for the post. I am starting with a small area and trying to learn as much as possible in the next years until I can retire from my day job. I am going to try succession planting even in my tiny “test garden”

    Reply
  119. Mary on

    This wonderful! So informative! …and thank you for being so specific on how to calculate the planting times (simple, precise and easy for my busy brain!!) Your time is greatly appreciated!

    Reply
  120. Meiska Starner on

    Such wonderful information! I’m reading through it again after this comment is posted! I’ve been planning succession planting for my vegetable gardens and I’m so excited to us this information to aid in my floral plans! Thank you!
    -Meiska

    Reply
  121. Kathy on

    Wow! This is one area where I always struggle. Some much valuable information here and I am really going to try to get a handle on succession planting this season (or at least a good start), thanks to your help. Love your posts. They have all been so inspiring and educational. You all are a great team! Thank you!

    Reply
  122. Melody on

    Love this. Thank you so much. Your generosity with information is such a blessing. I didn’t realize what category cosmos belonged in as well as a few others. I just wish I had a little more space to squeeze in some dusty miller! I’m so excited for this series of posts. Seriously, this is as much info as I’m finding in some of the books I’ve been buying. I’m anticipating the post about compost :) Off to start more seeds…

    Reply
  123. brenda on

    I have not done any succession planting in my area. The season is very short and I was never sure that it would work out. This year though I am going to try some and see what happens. I will let you know how it works out! Thanks again for the great information!

    Reply
  124. Audrey on

    A great post!! Question: When you are tearing out an existing bed to plant a new crop are you applying more landscape fabric? How can I determine the spacing of each variety? On another note, I just bought some floret seeds today:) Super Excited!

    Reply
  125. Prince Snow Farm on

    Thank you so much! I am the throw a bunch of seeds in person. I know I should stagger but haven’t. I will try this year!! Our frost free dates are usually Memorial Day to late sept or sometimes early October. So we have a solid four months. We have cool rainy springs, sometimes very hot very humid summers here in coastal Massachusetts, and dry gorgeous falls. Keep these amazing posts coming!!

    Reply

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