Top Tools for Cut Flowers
Buckets. On our farm we use Koba cut flower buckets which I source from Nolt's Greenhouse supplies, tall cooler buckets and regular old 5-gallon buckets. It really doesn't matter what kind of buckets you use, but what does matter is that they're clean. Our buckets are washed twice a week with water, a splash of bleach and elbow grease. Dirty water will kill your flowers like nothing else, so don't skip this step!
Snips. Obviously. Don't use kitchen shears, craft scissors or pruners. When you're cutting a large volume of flowers you need sharp, lightweight snips that won't hurt your hands. Some farmers use knives but I've always been partial to snips. On the farm we use the Corona snips for big cutting days and our floral snips for smaller jobs. Whatever you're using, make sure to keep them sharpened. Dull snips will smash the stem, causing the flower to take in less water (and wasting your time). I use this sharpener.
Rubber Bands. The number of rubber bands we go through in a year is insane, but they're an essential part of this business. We use the 33 size rubber bands and I have them set to auto ship so we never run out! For most of the summer, a stack of rubber bands on my wrist is my most-worn accessory.
Floral Preservative. Especially when cutting 'dirty' flowers like zinnias and sunflowers, adding a CVBN tab to the water helps to prolong the lift of our blooms. These tabs are a chlorine product that helps to keep the water clean which means that our fresh-cut flowers can drink enough. Once the buckets arrive back to the cooler, we add a t-bag which is basically a holding solution that helps to extend the life of cut flowers.
These four items are the 'essentials', and it would be hard to harvest cut flowers without any of them. But a few bonus supplies include...
Wheelbarrow/Wagon/Gator. When you start cutting a large volume of flowers and need to get them to the cooler ASAP, having a reliable, sturdy way to move them becomes essential. For the first two years we used a wagon or truckbed and now we use the Gator (my favorite farm equipment).
Sun protection. Don't forget a good hat, sunscreen and shades. I've found that the back of my neck is often neglected and bending over the plants leaves that area exposed, so be sure you're covering everything!
Camera. Some of the best shots from our fields happen on harvest day. There's nothing more exciting to customers than buckets packed to the brim with fresh-cut flowers. Hopping on stories or filming a quick reel is a nice break from cutting and gives your customers a little sneak peek of what's blooming! I share the 'behind the scenes' content at @justaddflowers and @hiddenspringsflowers.
Just getting started on your flower farming journey? If you're still working on exactly what to cut on harvest day, you can grab my FREE download: Top Cut Flowers for Beginners here. Now is the perfect time to start those summer annuals for a season full of bright, beautiful blooms!
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