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_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 (¼ 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, 7 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 to 60 days, so you can squeeze more flowering waves into a season. While other varieties like Black Eyed Susans 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 backward 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.

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 2 to 3 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 to late June) once done flowering is 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, 3 to 4 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 3 weeks.

“One-hit wonders” include many easy-to-grow gems like Bupleurum, Bombay Celosia, and single-stemmed Sunflowers. For an uninterrupted harvest of these wildfire 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 and 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 3 to 4 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 by 60-ft bed (with 9 by 9 in 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 3 weeks and then peters out quite rapidly. I aim for five plantings, 3 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 4 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 gets planted directly into the field. This approach gives us an abundant crop for nearly 5 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) 3 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 to 100 days to bloom, so three to four plantings 2 to 3 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 2 weeks through mid-summer.

Bachelor’s Button (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 3 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 (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 3 weeks apart and planted outside until mid-summer.

Chinese Forget-Me-Not (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, 3 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, 3 weeks apart.

Honeywort (Cerinthe major): This is 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 3 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 3 weeks.

Snapdragon: 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, 3 weeks apart to extend the harvest window.

Sunflower: 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 2 to 3 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 3 weeks until mid-summer.

Queen Anne’s Lace: I aim for four plantings starting with one in the fall and three staggered 3 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 2 to 3 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 2 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 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.



  1. Jeffrey McConnaughey on

    So you have Celosia as a “cut and come again favorite” that “blooms for many weeks” but also it is listed as a “one shot wonder”…so which is it? Are there certain types/varieties that do each?

    • BriAnn, Team Floret on

      The bombay celosia varieties are one-hit-wonders, however the feather and plume types will continue to pump out blooms when harvested.

  2. Katie Buchanan on

    I’m sorry if you’ve said this somewhere already, I haven’t been able to find it. What growing zone are you in?

    Thank you for all of your work and all the information you have made available. What a huge help for those of us who are learning!

  3. Cayce on

    I also left wondering how to organize the plants in my very small garden (four 4×10 ft beds) for succession planting. Do I plant the font half and leave the back half bare for the next succession or alternate rows or work in a checkerboard pattern? And are the later successions still transplanted seedlings or are they sown directly into the ground because the weather has warmed up?

  4. Magen Autry on

    Would like to know how exactly succession playing in bed rows are done? Am I filling the whole bed up or leaving open bed space to plant later on? Thank you!

  5. Helen on

    This is so helpful Thankyou. I am in Ireland and I think we have similar climates so your guidance is perfect. It’s my first time growing annual flowers to cut just for friends and family (and ourselves).

  6. Lisa Cava on

    You mentioned that you’re in a cooler climate. I am in zone 6 in northern West Virginia. I don’t have a greenhouse or a hoop. Trying to determine our weather pattern can be quite tricky. By early May, I feel confident enough to start outdoor planting. When you succession plant, are you direct seeding or are you starting new seedlings indoors before planting in your garden? What seeds can be direct sown in fall for an early spring bloom?

  7. Alexis Wroughton on

    This was so useful as I’m planning my garden this year! I’ve never done succession planting before, but I want to start becoming familiar with it and testing it out in small ways. I’ve taken lots of notes from this article!

  8. Vanessa Paulsen on

    Preparing for my 2024 first garden ever and I keep coming back to you. Thank you for your indirect investment into me. The information has been so educational and encouraging. Looking forward to reporting on the results!

  9. Amy on

    This was so helpful and informative! We’re just now under contract on 7 acres in South Carolina where we’re planning to open a cut flower farm. I grew up gardening, and I have always loved growing flowers and learning about them. I’m so excited about this, and I’m just trying to learn as much as possible on making this a business rather than just an enjoyable harvest. I’ve been scouring your blog. Thank you!

  10. Norma Sommerville on

    Lots of useful info thanks so much. I am I small flower grower and most years I’ve been lucky enough to grow masses of flowers without too much planning. I find that with the changing climate now I need to at least try succession planting and so been frantically noting everything…wish me luck for 2024
    💐 🌹 🌸 🏵 💐

  11. Tonya Thornton on

    Thank you for this article. Succession planting is my goal this year! Even if I only do a couple flowers–Sunflowers, Bells of Ireland, Snaps and Gomphrena seem like a good starter list. Wish me luck! Thank you so much for all the great information you put out for us <3

  12. Chas on

    Thank you so much for this post. I go back and reference this information throughout the season. So helpful & I love the new library of flowers that just came out as well! Thanks for all that you do! ☀️🌸😊

  13. Veronica Maris on

    I’ve been wanting to start a cutting garden for years, but my yard has always been too shady. Recently, new neighbors cut down some termite-infested oaks and opened the yard on the south side of my house.

    I have a lot of clearing to do (Asian jasmine, liriope, and TONS of poison ivy), but I’ve bookmarked this page to come back to once this task is done.

    Thanks so much for your labor of love!

  14. Janne on

    What a useful detailed guide; your time & work is much appreciated. I’m growing on a much smaller scale than you, but the general guide to productivity is very good.

  15. Dani on

    This article was amazing thank you for sharing this priceless knowledge. I do have a question if you happen to see this and have the time. When you talk about planting successively, does that mean you are off setting the seeds you start indoors by these 2-4 week increments? Or are you direct seeding? Or does it perhaps vary depending on the variety. We are starting a LOT of things indoors and I’m wondering if I should be staggering these. Thank you so much!!

  16. Liz brown on

    Quick question here…if I have a 4 foot X10 foot bed and plant zinnias where exactly do you plant the seed when you succession plant? I will be direct sowing in the flower beds. Do you have to pull a plant before sowing a new seed? Thank you so much! I’m learning so much from your blog!

    • BriAnn, Team Floret on

      Yes, you’ll want to remove the old plant and then plant the new one if you’re using the same space to succession plant, otherwise, leave a row open for another round of seeds to sow at a later time.

  17. Keerti, Crow Song Farms on

    Wonderful, as always! Your detailed breakdown of how many successions to do and when is extremely helpful. I’ve been utilizing info from Johnnys to wrap my head around succession planting, but your article is by far the most detailed.

    I’m going to break things down for my own seeding by month, since a large part of my business is seeding in addition to cut flowers. Then I’ll cross reference the notes I took here and plug everything into each date on the calendar.

    Erin I’m so grateful for all of your amazing work! You’re empowering me to pursue this dream. My background is in vegetables but I’m so thrilled to be doing flowers thanks to your plethora of incredible resources. Thank you!

  18. Nikki Closser on

    Hi! THANK YOU for all of your generous info! When you do succession planting, are you planting in the same two inch hole as the first plant? Might be a dumb question haha. Just trying to figure out how to maximize my space!

  19. Rebecca on

    Loved this read!!

    Do you take out plants to make room for more succession planting? For example, “x” flower blooms for months, but if you plant “x” every two weeks, do you eventually take out the first planting and replace it with succession transplants? Do you prioritize fresh blooms or do you plan the land rotation so even the first plants remain if they are still producing?

  20. Erin Pillsbury on

    This is the best article I’ve read! Thank you so much for your time and detail.
    I am looking to start a small plot with room to grow.
    I notice you don’t have any dahlias, I do plan to start with those!

  21. Fiona on

    I know you’ve just released your summer mini course – covering questions which you are often asked.
    I would actually LOVE a course on this succession planting stuff – specifically how you get two crops from a bed in a given year. Which flowers do you plant for the early part of the season and then what do you follow it with and when? I guess it would help answer questions of timing the planting of different beds. Just a suggestion from someone who loves your content!

    • BriAnn Boots on

      Thanks for the suggestion! We share more about succession planting in our Online Workshop with helpful tools and resources that can be utilized year after year. There’s some information about succession planting in our book Cut Flower Garden as well!

  22. Jo on

    A great read and really helpful. Thank you and best wishes.

  23. JoAnn on

    Thank you for such an informative post. Extremely helpful!

  24. Chloe on

    So 2 questions: I live in the Northeast, and I thought that Amaranth was invasive. Is it just because of where I live, or do you only plant it in greenhouses so that the seeds won’t spread? And I also thought that Dacus was invasive too. Love your stuff btw!!

  25. Paula Bolash on

    I am grateful for this information, you are very generous to take the time to share it.

  26. Stacey on

    Ah… it seems through all this planning I’ve been double, and triple, and quadruple checking my planning to make sure I’m on the right track. Thank you for having so many of the core cuts sorted out, it’s a lot to keep track of! And thank you for justifying this pile of seed packets I have strewn around me. Thinking about them succession planted makes the piles seem totally reasonable. 🙃

  27. Nicole on

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge! Very helpful!

  28. Theresa M Swanson on

    This is wonderful I wish the links worked because I don’t know what everything looks like

  29. Marie-Pier on

    This is beyond helpful. It helped me organize my thoughts so much. Thank you for the awesome frame work!!

  30. Megan on

    As always, your generosity is so appreciated and useful. This is the year I figure out succession planting! Thank you!

  31. Jane on

    So helpful, thank you so much Erin, your generosity is so appreciated.

  32. Courtney on

    Just started planning my first beds with the intent to sell in the next 2 years this info has been invaluable and your first 2 books were so helpful. My gramma inspired my green thumb and watching her enjoy reading your first book has been a great bonding experience. Thank you for your passion!

  33. Sheila on

    Wow Erin this info is priceless . In our first year of farming we have just learned that we should have spread out the planting . Wish we had found you earlier ! Am now reading everything you have written , so so inspiring thank you . Onward and upwards .

  34. Mónica on

    This article is actually very helpful. I live in PR where we can grow almost all year long. But since I’m starting my project I definitely need to think of this. Since we can grow all year I’m doing this slowly but definitely want to have all I need every time I’m making a bouquet. Thanks for the tips.

  35. Jen on

    This is amazing and so thorough- and kind of you to share! Honestly I don’t know what I would do without these growing guides you do. Whenever I need to learn something about the cut flowers I am growing I gooogle Floret first as I know you will have typically posted some info on it, and you have shared so much info with us all, thank you so so much for all the time and effort you put in creating these beautiful guides for the world, Erin you are nothing short of amazing!

  36. Rachael on

    Wow! This information is pure gold. Thank you so much for disclosing what you do on your farm. It definitely helps with the planning the beds here in the UK. :) xxx

  37. Chelsey on

    I was wondering how far apart you plant your gomphrina? Thank you!

  38. Karen on

    Great info! Thanks Erin.
    There is an error on the Honeywort link in this article.
    Vancouver, BC

  39. Beka Scher on

    Thank you SO much for sharing your veritable treasure trove of knowledge with us. I really appreciate it!

  40. Camille on

    It is so generous of you to share this hard earned information. Thank you. I learned so much from your book, and this posting along with a few others, answers all my next level questions about the nitty gritty of planning. I’ve been a garden designer for over a decade and finally growing a cut flower garden feels like the feather in my cap — or the Bells of Ireland in my bouquet!! I couldn’t have taken this leap without your clear concise instruction. Here’s to more flowers in the world, and the happiness they bring.

  41. Marybeth on

    Great information and so much of it! How wonderful of you to take the time to share this. I truly appreciate this and plan to use your article as a source, as I begin my business #floralsatthefarm this Spring. Thank you!

  42. Kimberly Erickson on

    I have been gardening for food and personal fun while I raised my kids. Now it is time for me and my next step as a gardener. This is timely and extremely helpful advice. So thankful always for gardeners willing to share their failures and successes to help others!

  43. Abbie Langman on

    Thank you so much for putting the time and effort into this. Succession planting was something I was absolutely dreading having to figure out! Now maybe I can dredge up the courage to build a little flower stand to put by the road, and book a stall at our farmers market for the season.

  44. Marianne on

    A thousand thanks from a cold and snowy Norway! I’m starting a small flower business to supplement the income from our vegetable market garden, and finished my excel sheets today. I now see that I have to do it all again, as I hadn’t thought of succession planting… But this is a good thing, as it means that I now will (hopefully) have flowers to sell all season!

  45. Kelsi on

    This is SO much valuable, valuable information. THANK YOU!!
    My goal is for my little family to buy land in upcountry Hawaii in the next 6 months or so. We have a ton of microclimates here, so finding what might work will be an interesting challenge. My hope is to find land in a town that has a similar temperate summer climate, only year round, to Mt. Vernon – 37″ a rain a year, warm (but not hot) summers, and cool evenings (45-50 degree lows) – we have no snow or short winter days though. If I have to buy land a little farther east in that same elevation, similar temps but much more rain (up to 80″ – hello, Marblemount!) However, we don’t have any frost days whatsoever, and our daily hours of sunlight are more consistent year round.

    My big “wonder” right now is succession planting right through the winter – if we still have hours of daylight, and no frost, can I push right through our ‘winter’?

  46. Kerri on

    Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge in flowers! I am planning to start my very first cut garden this spring! Growing flowers bring me such great joy!!

  47. Kathleen on

    This helps me tremendously as I learn to succession sow. The the main categories of growth really help me to understand the breakdown a little better. Thank you so much!

  48. Mattson on

    Wow. I cannot fully explain how much I appreciate the information y’all publish as well as the way you present it. As a new flower grower I’ve found it hard to find a steady source of reliable cultivation info in a format that I vibe with. These posts are relevant, organized, and the answer to my many hours spent combing through sources. Please keep up the great work of growing and sharing your experience!!

  49. taffy HOLVENSTOT on

    It looks like you’re not answering a lot of questions so I can only hope you might see this. you probably are one of the few people that not might know the answer to this question. I now live in Tucson Arizona with a very long growing season. What I was wondering is when sweet peas or cosmos or zinnias are finished, can I take the seed and immediately plant it again for another crop, or is there something about those seeds where they need to sit for a year to be viable?

  50. b on

    Thank you so much. Can you really cut a foxglove flower and have the plant grow another? This is my first spring with > 20 foxglove and I can’t bring myself to test this out!!

    Beautiful flowers, great information, thank you.

  51. Judith on

    Very helpful thank you so much

  52. Lauren DeGarmo on

    I loved reading this but it’s a lot to wrap my mind around. When you say staggering, do you mean you plant a first wave, then you plant another wave the prescribed amount of time stated…after they have bloomed and been harvest/pulled up from ground, or are you meaning you plant more for that next wave in a different area/section of the bed so that they bloom 3 weeks (or however many you waited to stagger) after your first round of blooms? I am sorry…newbie here so this is all new and slightly confusing. I am just trying to understand how to do it correctly! Thank you so much for taking so much time to teach us all you know!

  53. vicki hart on

    It’s going to take a while to digest all that information. Then I’m going to sit down with some very large sheets of graph paper to attempt to apply you methods to my climate.
    Thank you very much for sharing your experiences. Invaluable!

  54. Stephanie on

    Hi Erin. Thank you for all the great information you share on this site. I am going to try succession planting this spring/summer. I marked all my seed packets with succession planting dates. Your organizational techniques are having a positive influence on a rather haphazard gardener. 🌝
    Thank you.

  55. Kim on

    This so amazingly informative, I can’t thank you enough! I feel like I was just in class; I took many pictures of the info as I was reading so I can look at my phone and easily see the information as I peruse seed catalogs and walk my local nursery. I’m sure this took a lot of time to put together: much appreciated!

  56. Veronica R. on

    When you are talking about succession planting, are you doing that from seed or are you starting your own plugs and planting them?

  57. Aly on

    Thank you for the information! I have a question… when it comes time to plant the next set, but the plant (day, zinnias) are still looking/producing good, are you still pulling them or just the ones that look bleak? I’m just starting my first flower cut garden and have never done succession planting. Thank you!

  58. Noelle on

    I’ve been desperately looking for this information online. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I’m going to grow a small cut flower garden for my kids to sell bouquets the summer. I live in a zone 4/5 so my growing season is quite short and will be starting many plants indoors. Thank a bunch.

  59. Ashley on

    I’ve read most of your blog but this post has been the most helpful! Of all the factors to consider when beginning my first cut flower garden, the scheduling of when to seed & sow is most intimidating to me. This breakdown is incredibly useful! Thank you!

  60. Karri on

    Hello Erin & Team Floret,
    I’m rather embarrassed to ask this question, but knowledge is power right? Should dahlias be planted in succession? I’ve only ever planted them straight out, but I wasn’t sure if there was any advantage (or disadvantage) to staggering their planting. Thank you!

    • Team Floret on

      Good question, Karri! Unlike many other flowers, we do not succession plant dahlias. To learn more about how we grow these beauties, be sure to get our free dahlia e-book if you don’t have it already:

  61. Aria on

    This information is invaluable. I live in the Puyallup Valley (Western Washington) so I know what you’re doing in the Skagit Valley will work for me too. I retired last year, own .4 acre and since I’ve always liked growing flowers and making arrangements I decided to try growing some flowers for bouquets ( I already have a florist who wants to buy what I grow). I’ve never tried farming so I’m busy researching and trying to absorb all the information I can find right now. Please keep writing your blogs and sharing your experiences. Thank you!

  62. Jenny Durling on

    Wow! This is a great article with more helpful information than I could have imagined! I’ve watched many of your videos and those you’ve posted of other’s flower farms as well. My biggest question – do you have gophers and how do you deal with them? I’ve got a ton of space as we live on 5 acres. However, I also have a ton of gophers and have so far resigned myself to growing only in raised beds. I would love nothing more than to grow giant rows of flowers directly into the soil as you do. Any suggestions on how to avoid the gopher damage? They eat dahlias like candy to the point of coming up out of the ground to finish them off from the top!! We do set traps but it’s a never ending job and it’s not 100% effective either.

  63. Frances on

    Once again i found all the answers to my questions here, thanks so much! And what I don’t find here is in your book, I love that too. Best wishes, Frances.

  64. Nora on

    I’ve heard newspaper is better for weed control. What are your thoughts versus landscape fabric?

    • Angela, Team Floret on

      Hi Nora,
      Newspaper can work really well, but will compost into the soil over time, whereas fabric will stay and not disintegrate. We’ve found fabric to be such a perfect way to keep weeds away during the season, but definitely do what works best for you!

  65. Kristin on

    How do you control the weeds in the areas you do succession planting in?

  66. Kristin on

    Do you start the season with every bed having something started in it? I’m wondering if there is a time when the beds don’t have anything growing in them. Do you use landscape fabric or something else to suppress weeds until you are ready to plant?

  67. John Small on

    When you turnover a bed what do you do with the waste from the first crop. As always, thanks for your generosity in sharing your hard warned knowledge!


  68. Kerry Hoffman on

    I can’t tell you how grateful I am ~ and obviously so many others are~ for your generous sharing of your hard-fought wisdom. I’ve been following you for years now, and got back into cut-flower growing this year after a seven-year hiatus; I immediately sought out your website for inspiration and information. I am blown away by all that you do on your own farm, and for all of us. Thank you, Erin, for helping to spread the beauty. Blessings and Light!

  69. John on

    You’re generosity in sharing is overwhelming. Inspirational. Blessings on your garden. Thank you.

  70. Kristin on

    When you sow the seeds every couple of weeks do you start them in a greenhouse and transplant them or just put them right in the ground?
    This is such incredible information. I am so grateful you shared it. I have been very confused about the process but the way you explained it makes it so much clearer. Thanks so much!

    • Angela on

      Hi Kristin,

      I’m so glad you’re finding clarity around succession planting. Here on the farm we start almost everything in the greenhouses, as we can really jumpstart our season this way. Once the weather has warmed, we harden off the starts and then plant them outside. I hope this helps answer your question.

  71. Sandra Powell on

    When you say, “you plant three successions”, are you then planting seeds direct in the ground or are you still growing in trays and transplanting. I know some plants do not like transplanting but trying to understand the bulk of what you are planting. Thank you for sharing.

  72. Marlee Hakes on

    This was a tremendous help to me. Thank you so much for writing these informative blogs. I live in south Alabama, so much different climate, but it is really helpful to be able to read how you plan everything out for the most successful crops! I’m just in the beginning stages of research, but I can already see that I will be reading many of your blogs!

  73. Mary in Olympia WA on

    Thank you for this! I would love to see more info on this topic. Does the field stay fallow while waiting for the next succession to be planted? It would be nice to have succession info listed in the shop with each seed variety. Also, I wonder why you secession plant zinnias and cosmos? Mine bloomed straight through to the frost in October with a May 1st sowing (also in WA).

    Thank you. Your website has changed my life! Now it’s flowers all the time!

  74. Sam Steavenson on

    Thank you so much! I’m starting out my cut flower garden in Sedro-Woolley and already have a lot of the flowers you mentioned as happy starts. What a perfect time to read this post, I see that there is a bit more planning to do. I can’t thank you enough for this information… Happy Spring!

  75. Heidi on

    Great information! Thanks for sharing from your experience it is very much appreciated. This is my first year growing cut flowers. Hoping to share with neighbors and friends!

  76. Eileen Kenny on

    What a packed in post! This is so helpful. I think I’m gonna start with hardy annuals to see my ability in growing though and then a few one off’s! and take it from there. Such invaluable information to get me going!! Thank you Erin

  77. hosanna on

    gosh thank you so so much for all the hard work you put into each of these posts! you do such a wonderful job!

  78. Edward on

    Greetings! This is a real treasure trove of information and experience; thank you so much for sharing all your learnings!! I understand your description (and importance!) of succession sowing as you described to ensure a full harvest all season and also to reduce the workload at first harvest. My question is this – if my plan was to plant nothing but zinnia for example, would there be a need for successive sowings? My understanding was that zinnia are a prolific bloomer so would they just bloom all season until frost (if harvested regularly)? Is that right or do they not last the full season?
    Also on Zinnia – can you give an approx yield in your experience for them? Like stems per plant per month? I know this will vary greatly but just in your experience.
    Once again, thank you for spending the time to put together a really excellent article – I am now going to explore the rest of your site!!

  79. Mariah on

    I haven’t come across anything else this useful for a cut flower garden, or even just gardening annuals from seed. I have only ever done perennial gardening but now that we are living in a temporary location and I don’t want to invest long-term into the landscaping of our rental, I’m excited to try annuals! I wrote down most of what you’ve shared into my gardening notebook so I can reference it all while I’m out in my yard. Thank you so much.

  80. Melissa on

    This is VERY helpful!!! Thank You!

  81. Holly Jones on

    You are truly amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this information! I’m going to get started today, thanks to the very helpful information you’ve provided. I wish you and your family’s flower business continued success!

  82. Sharon Rowland on

    I am wanting to start a flower farm. I know it is late for this year but do you think I could still start things like sunflowers and zinnias. I live in Western Washington and was thinking I’d have to wait until next year. After reading about successive planting it seems possible that I could squeeze in one planting this season.

    • Team Floret on

      It shouldn’t be too late, Sharon. For example, if you plant “60-day” sunflowers, you should be able to harvest them well before your first frost. Be sure to cross check the days to maturity on seed packages and the date of your typical first fall frost when choosing what to plant! Enjoy!

  83. Lisa on

    Thank you so much for all the information you share on your blog. I’ll be planting my first cutting garden this spring, and though it is just in the backyard, not for commercial purposes, it is an investment of time and energy, which few of us have in abundance! Reading your posts will, I’m sure, save me from some novice blunders and make for a more flowerful season ahead. Much gratitude goes your way!

  84. Lindsay on

    What an awesome outline!!! I’ve been wanting to grow a hobby flower farm, just for my house and friends so this is fantastic. Can I ask what zone you’d be in?

  85. Maria Panter on

    Quick question! I am planning out my planting schedule with succession planting for my annuals. I am a newbie from Utah where it gets pretty darn hot in July (think mid nineties). Won’t that fry my second or third batch of baby plants if I have to transplant them in July when it is super hot? Should I stop all succession planting earlier to avoid transplanting in July? Along those same lines, when should I stop succession planting spring bloomers vs summer bloomers? Another problem I am running into is that I have more garden space than seedling starting space. I basically have a shelving unit setup and can only fit 360 seedlings at a time. However, my garden space can fit well over twice that amount…which is what I purchased for (not realizing most seeds need to start indoors first). My bad. So when I am planning out my succession planting, I am running into the problem that my first batch of seedlings are not ready to be transplanted by the time I am supposed to be starting the succession planting of the next batch of seeds. So there is no where to put the second batch of seeds. Do I delay succession planting until I can plant the first batch outside or do I just use half of my seed starting space at a time? I know I may need to double the amount of seed starting space, but I wanted to see if there was a solution that avoided spending more money first. I am pretty much a little clone of you when you first started lol. I am 26 with two littles (girl is 3 and boy is 6 months) and my garden is the same size yours first was at the beginning (15 feet by 40 feet). I devoured your book in a few short days and panicked when I saw most of the seeds were sold out on your site and bought up quite a few from your site and others. So here I am…investing lots of money I should leave in my savings account. I planned on it being just a hobby to practice my floral design skills and give out fresh flowers to needy families in my community…but after all the money I invested…I may have find a way to sell a few to help buffer the cost. Anyway! I thought I would throw my questions out there. I know you are probably super busy. Thanks for your wonderful book and any advice you can offer!

  86. Jodi Passwaters on

    This was exactly what I was looking for today, planning my successions. Thank you sooo much. Invaluable, especially for your first growing year!

  87. Juliet on

    Love your passion and willingness to educate others along the way. Thank you very much. I look forward to a beautiful and successful 2018

  88. Townley on

    In what category do Stock (Malmaison Pink) fall? Are they One Shot Wonders?

    • Team Floret on

      Hi Townley– Yes, I consider them ‘one shot wonders.’ They can produce secondary blooms, but they aren’t good enough quality to justify the bed space when growing for commercial production. Hope that helps!

  89. Sand Abell, Leonardtown, MD on

    Thank you for summarizing and sharing this invaluable resource with us. I am a new flower grower and I’m eternally grateful to benefit from your years of growing experience and lessons learned the hard way. :)

  90. Tracy Bush on

    Thanks you so much for all your time spent on these articles! You must have a heart of gold. I’m starting a flower farm in Sheridan Wyoming. Our climate is pretty extreme so we will be doing most everything in a greenhouse. I’m taking a huge leap as we live in a small town, we plant to stay small and local only. Do you recommend planting in successions when greenhouse growing as well? Thanks you again for your time and inspiration!

  91. Jelissa Needham on

    We just moved to a 20 acre acreage and 2018 will be my first year of all four seasons! I have always loved making flower arrangements and have wanted to grow my own cut flowers. I’m wondering, which flowers would you recommend for honey bees? I want to help them out too.

    • Team Floret on

      Hi Jelissa, Thanks for your concern for the bees! We are adding new seeds to our Floret Shop this week and you’ll be able to search by pollinator-friendly varieties. Hope that helps!

  92. susan on

    thank you very much for posting this article! (tough sell in central New Hampshire). we also have an certified organic vegetable farm so my flower time is severely inhibited by that. However, I am now going to begin with successions of some of my more popular flowers like snapdragons and add in some of your suggested fillers that I have never tried. I sure appreciate your helpful guidance.

    • Susan on

      On my last post, there was an error……..I wanted to let you know that selling fresh flowers in central New Hampshire, and even on the sea coast is difficult. I talked to other farmers who said the same…..with the exception of one farm which has been in business for several decades. So, your guidance is very appreciated!!

  93. Rebekka Shannon on

    I am thankful for the information and guidance that you have provided. I am getting ready to start my own flower farm in the spring. I’m trying to read and absorb all the information that I can. Thank you.

  94. Katie on

    Everything you write and show about flowers makes me so excited for flowers next spring! Thanks for sharing all your hard work.

  95. Katie on

    My head is buzzing with information! I love it! I am excited to get work making a plan for my garden. Thank you!! Really, thank you!

  96. hMh on

    Unbelievable that you even have time to share such detailed info w us!! Thank you SO much for your wonderful site, what zone are you in that you are able to sow and get flowers in the hoop house fall and winter?? I may have misunderstood when you say you sow three weeks apart at that time of year? are your hoop houses closed and heated greenhouses? I live in an incredibly short, zone 4b part of Ontario and have to wait all summer just for the cosmos, zinnias and dahlias!… thanks again for your generosity…I’ve sent your site to so many of my friends who just love your pictures and useful information

  97. Rosalind on

    I am so excited by this I am realising I simply don’t re-sow enough and once the first batches are in I don’t keep re-sowing. Bit of a revelation really, I can forsee a much more abundant 2018 :)

  98. Noeleen on

    Thanks for all the very practical advice. I loved your book btw.

  99. Katrine on

    Hi Erin
    Thank you so much for this!
    I am just wondering if you replant the following batches where you pulled the prior ones, or if you put them in another bed.

    • Tracy Bush on

      I too was wondering the same!

    • Karri on

      I was actually reviewing the comments to see if the same question had already been answered because I’m a little fuzzy on it also.

  100. Rachael on

    I am so glad I found your site. I am finding this to be the most useful resource I have encountered as I plan a cut flower garden for next year to add on to my small CSA. Thank you for the time and effort you have put into this for the sake of educating others. Fantastic!

  101. Theresa Polanco on

    WOW! So inspiring! I must admit it seems a bit of a daunting task to take on, and I completely understand your stage of trial and error until you got it down right. I have been thinking of doing something very similar with a plot of land, and doing heirloom flowers only. I like the organization of your beds you did in grid formation with what looked like some sort of netting on the ground?? Great idea, I may borrow that one ;) Do you save your own seeds? I hope so!

  102. Stacy Pugh on

    Your site is so wonderfully inspiring! It’s a gorgeous place to spend some time dreaming. It encouraged me to turn my veggie garden into a “cutting” flower garden instead! I mean who needs cucumbers and squash when you can have amazing dahlias to feast on?!? Lol. I’m hoping to dream and plan all winter and double my garden size and fill it full of plants including dahlias and seeds I will buy from you guys!

    I love the daily instigram videos showing what’s blooming each day. It’s such a joy to watch. I wish I could work there! I’d never leave. I paint watercolor botainicals so I grow my flowers and paint them. I have over 18,000 pics on my phone just from my flowers. I can’t imagine how many I’d have if I visited your gardens!!!!!!

    Your book is for gorgeous as well!!!!
    Happy growing!
    Stacyannpugh (instigram)

  103. Shellie Burrow on

    Thank you so much for your willingness to share. I can’t wait to get more flowers in. You did such a nice job with info and your pictures are inspiring!

  104. Melissa Wiest on

    Thank you so much for sharing. So happy to have found this blog. I live in southern Missouri and will use these suggestions and adapt them to my area.

  105. Terri Williams on

    LOVE your blog. So full of information! Just getting a garden growing in PA! Plan to use in our thriving wreath business.

  106. Diane Millette on

    Also, Do you use netting to help flowers stay upright on all your flowers?

  107. Diane Millette on

    Hi!!! When you refer to “two plantings” or “four sowings” do you mean starting seeds in greenhouse as opposed to “direct seeding?” Thanks, Diane

  108. Emily on

    So helpful! I’m starting up my own cut flower garden. I can’t stand wait to get your book.

  109. HB on

    Thank you! So very helpful!

  110. Susan on

    So inspiring! Can you write a blog about the best flowers for honey bees and pollinators ?

  111. Jackie on

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this information…it is so helpful! And I LOVE your book as well! I do have one question, what do you use to control insects…specifically for dahlias?

  112. Mia on

    Thank you for the truly useful information!!!

  113. Christine O'Driscoll on

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

  114. 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!

  115. 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.

  116. 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!

  117. 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!

  118. Alison on

    Thank you so much for sharing these pearls.

  119. 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.

  120. 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!

    • Team Floret on

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

  121. 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!

  122. 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!!!!

  123. 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!

  124. 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.

  125. 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.

  126. 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?

  127. Tobey on

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

  128. 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!

  129. 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’.

  130. 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 […]

  131. 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 […]

  132. 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.

  133. 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.

  134. 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.

    Alissa Cockroft
    MissAliss Blooms: A Flower Farm

  135. 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 :)

  136. 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

  137. Anu Jokela / 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.

  138. Dennis Burkhardt on

    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

  139. Lori Hernandez on

    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,

  140. 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?

  141. Jamie on

    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.

    • Floret on

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

  142. 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.

  143. Sara on

    A wealth of valuable information! Thank you!

  144. Amy Bee on

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

  145. Esme on

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

  146. Alysa on

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

  147. 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!

  148. 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!

  149. 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.

  150. 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!!!

  151. "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

  152. 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.

  153. 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

    • 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.

  154. 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!

  155. Jamie Peterson on

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

  156. Michelle Shackelford on

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

  157. 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!

  158. 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.

  159. 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.

  160. Linda Doan on

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

  161. 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?

  162. 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!

  163. 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!

  164. 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!


  165. 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.

  166. Kyler on

    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,

  167. 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!

  168. 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.

  169. 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.

  170. 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!!!!

  171. Carolyn on

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

  172. 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!

  173. 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!!! ?

  174. 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!

  175. 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!

  176. 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!!

  177. Beth on


    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.


  178. 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!

  179. 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!

    • 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!

  180. 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!

  181. 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!

  182. 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!!!

  183. 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?

  184. 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.

  185. 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:)

  186. 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?

  187. 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.

  188. Megan Illingworth on

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

  189. 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

  190. Carole Mapes on

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

  191. Ronda on

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

  192. 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?

  193. 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!

  194. 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!

  195. Katie Farm 58 on

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

  196. 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!

    • 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!

  197. 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!

  198. 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!

  199. Stephanie on

    Another Awesome Post! Thanks Erin!

  200. 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!

  201. 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.

  202. 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!!

  203. 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!

  204. 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!!!!

  205. Carly on

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

  206. 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!

  207. Sophie on

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

  208. 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!

  209. 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!!!

  210. 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!

  211. Tracy Huntley on

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

  212. 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?

  213. 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.

  214. 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.

  215. 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

  216. 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.

  217. 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!)

  218. Alaina noel on

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

  219. 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 . . . .

  220. 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?

  221. 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

  222. 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.

    • Heather on

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

  223. 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!!

  224. 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!

  225. 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?

  226. 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

  227. JC on


    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?

  228. 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!!

  229. 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”

  230. 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!

  231. 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!

  232. 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!

  233. 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…

  234. 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!

  235. 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!

  236. 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!!


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