Flower Farming: Jobs Checklist for September

September is a perfect month - it usually means that the flower farm is putting on one final display and show before the first frost.

We’re usually slammed with business too - the cool weather means that many people schedule their weddings for this time of year, and florists are making orders left and right while we are also booked for some of our biggest events of the year.

The farm is producing as well - with big fluffy perfect dahlias and roses and zinnias along with stems and branches dripping with nuts, seedpods and fruit, and all of the plants are big and luscious and perfect and plentiful. It’s this big display of autumnal abundance that makes for excellent materials and allows the most fabulous designs this time of year.

Even if you’re crazy busy like us this time of year, there are some tasks that you should take care of to help yourself later on in the year and even into next year.

  1. Planting hardy annuals like cerinthe, bachelor buttons and poppies and daucus before the season gets too far along.

  2. Making sure dahlias are marked when they’re flowering - so that you can ID them after they get their first frost

  3. Ensure you have structures set in place like hoops or tunnels to be able to offer frost protection like Agribon or plastic. You don’t have to put the frost cloth on yet - but just be ready to do so.

  4. Tear out any plantings that look a bit tired or bedraggled and till the bed for next year- especially if you’re planning on planting into them during the fall.

  5. Start hardy perennials like echinacea and northern sea oats and oregano from seed.

  6. With the cooler weather, weeds like henbit and London rocket are starting to germinate again. Use a hula hoe or Dutch hoe to take care of the weed seedlings when they’re young.

  7. If you’re in cooler growing zones, now might be a good time to start thinking about soaking and presprouting anemones and ranunculus.

  8. Harvest and dry materials for use in the fall and winter in making wreaths, dried arrangements and bouquets. And if you haven’t considered making dried materials a part of your income stream during the winter, you definitely should. It’s a great way to make some money in the off-season - you can find out more about growing and using dried florals here.

  9. Plant alliums now for a long extended period of cold and to successfully flower next year

  10. Start making your seed order for next year now - don’t wait until the spring when seed companies are slammed for business.