One thing I have learned from flower farming is that even if growing in spring and summer, it is a year-round job. What goes on in winter? A mix of farming and business:
A bit of downtime…
With the first snowfall typically happening in Idaho, the ground freezes and there isn’t much more that can be done in-ground. Since October-November is a race to get bulbs in-ground once they arrive from specialty retailers, December is somewhat of a sigh of relief and a few weeks of downtime. There are some off-season tasks that need to be done, but December is a time for family here so these tasks tend to be put off until January.
But also starting a few seeds
There are some plants that take so long, they need to be started in December. Lisianthus, eucalyptus and kale are the slowest growing and are ideally started mid-December. Snapdragons are also surprisingly slow-growing and are started at the end of December along with strawflower and yarrow.
Checking on transplants
However, just because it is winter doesn’t mean that there aren’t seeds and flowers also in ground – early spring flowers get seeded in late summer and planted out in fall. They get covered in hoops and frost cloth and overwintered until it gets warm enough for them to grow again in early spring. Though they are overwintered, they still need to be checked on. Frost cloths blow off and need to be secured, and snow needs to be dusted off the hoops so they don’t collapse from the weight. Holes need to be mended as well. Though the flowers are overwintered, they need the help of the frost cloth to raise the temperatures slightly and protect them. If the plants are exposed, not all will survive.
If you are like me, I am thinking about flowers year-round, and flower gifts are always on my list. However, holiday offerings need to be thought of far ahead of December, or November, and finding the time is often tricky. This holiday season, gift cards were all I had time to offer, but I’m collecting ideas and may offer more in the years to come!
In November and December, I’m busy putting winter porch pots together. These are different sized pots filled with dirt. Greenery from Floating Feather Farm is cut and arranged along with some faux berries and a ribbon. I always make a few for myself too.
Running a business means that business matters need to be attended to, and this includes taxes. If filing quarterly, taxes are due in December. Since December is the holiday season, I usually put off yearly analytics until January and February, but organizing everything is important for later.