As we approach the end of one season, on the flower farm I'm constantly looking to the season ahead. The summer flowers are fading fast here in mid-September and that means that it's about time to get next year's first flowers into the ground.
This week I'm focusing on getting our hardy annuals into the ground. I'm direct sowing some (that means putting the seeds directly into the ground) and others are going in as transplants that I've ordered from a grower here in PA. You can find my top list of hardy annuals here!
Planting hardy annuals in the fall means that our fields will burst into bloom as soon as the weather turns warm, usually mid-May!
Once those babies are in the ground, I'm going to turn my focus to what are arguably my favorite flowers we grow here at the farm: anemones. And ranunculus.
Nothing screams spring like a row of jewel-toned anemones and ruffly ranunculus. On our farm, these flowers are the first to bloom every year (often beginning in January) and account for thousands of dollars in profit for our business. Customers anxiously await the return of these beautiful blooms and flock to our flower shop and self-serve stand to snap up the first delicate bouquets of the season. I get pretty giddy about them myself! How could you not?!
To maximize the growing season here in our zone (6b) fall and winter planting is an absolute must for both of these flowers. While they're not cold hardy, per se, they also won't tolerate very warm temperatures meaning that we have to hone in on those shoulder months of March and April when there's not much else growing in central Pennsylvania.
Over the next week I'll begin the process of pre-sprouting the corms before planting them into the field early to mid-October. Once they're in the ground, we'll make sure they're fully covered by caterpillar tunnels to protect the baby plants from the worst of winter conditions and keep the ground around them from freezing. (If the ground does freeze the corms will rot once it thaws.)
I'll plant a second round using this same method in late winter, beginning the pre-sprouting process in January for Feburary planting.
I've created a grow guide specifically focused on planting anemone and ranunculus corms and it outlines the entire process that I follow to plant, grow and harvest these flowers. You can find the guide here!
Anemone and ranunculus were the very first flowers that I planted when I started Hidden Springs, so I definitely get a little excited about them. From those first few shriveled corms I've created a business bigger than I could ever have imagined and I'm excited to help you do the same!
You can find the very same anemone and ranunculus that I grow here on our farm as corms here. Corms are limited as is the window to get them into the ground so now is the time to get growing!