The End of Spring 5/20/22

The End of Spring 5/20/22

Posted by Mandy + Steve O'Shea on

Hello hello!  We have had a wonderful season of Spring flowers and are all super happy with how everything went.  Our crew has been fantastic, our days have been filled with so much beauty, and our customers have all been so kind and uplifting.  Such a great season for us and we appreciate you for helping it to be a success!

  And so another beautiful Spring gives way and melts into the season of electrolytes and fireflies.  We’ve been hot out here, but fortunately and unfortunately we’re devoid of the humidity that generally accompanies the heat.  It looks like that may be coming on Monday though, so we are excited to be getting some real rain!

  These temps punctuate the transition away from the Spring flowers that have dominated our lives for the last 7 months and towards the Fall and thousands upon thousands of dahlia plants we’re looking to grow.

  The tunnels look weedy, haggard and tired. Currently the ladies are digging up all the ranunculus corms from the greenhouses, so we can try to preserve them until October/November and plant some of them again.  The diseased anemones have already been dug up and burned.  The poppies, campanula, and godetia are giving their few last gasps and will be pulled up and composted soon. 

  In the fields, Mandy has been racing around on the tractor, flail mowing and mulching our cover crops, waiting for rain that never came, resorting to running a sprinkler around every hour for days on end, to try and add moisture to 2 acres of planting space so we could till in the mulched greenery and allow it to break down into nutrients and organic matter, that will enrich our soil for all the dahlias.  Dry greenery doesn’t break down very well, resulting in clumpy beds with an inhospitable environment for growing healthy plants. Dry soil gets obliterated if you try and till it.  It’s bad for erosion, for the micro-organisms that are critical in feeding plants, and for the basic soil structure itself.  Hence the importance of adding moisture to all the fields.

   The lavender is starting to flower and we are pretty excited for our largest crop to date.  It takes 2 years to get lavender flowers and it’s a tricky crop to pull off in Georgia, but it is looking to be a good year for it.  They should be ready in a few weeks for shipping to your doorstep.

  Each evening, I find Mandy in the prop house, super excited about all her dahlia seedlings.  In general, dahlias are cloned.  You know what you are getting when you plant the tuber.  It’s going to look just like its parent.  Just like the picture.  It’s genetically identical. Same.  But… if you let the dahlias cross pollinate and don’t harvest the flowers, but let them go to fruit and to seed….then things can get interesting. Two years ago, we did this and saved seed. The little garden plot by the farm store last Fall was filled with our first ever trial run of dahlia plants from these mystery seeds and we spent many an October evening walking through the patch and inspecting blooms for traits we find valuable in a dahlia.  

  We marveled at the combinations of traits we saw from some of our favorites blended together in odd and marvelous ways to create new varieties entirely (you got your Diddy’s height, but your Momma’s eyes).  The goal is to get new beauty that fills a color void, is heat tolerant, long lasting and beautiful. We carefully picked multiple favorites and saved their tubers.  Now Mandy is sprouting them and taking cuttings in the evenings to multiply their numbers so we can have a decent amount of these new beauties that we want to share with the world.  We can’t wait to introduce them!

  Lastly, do get out to the farm store if you can.  We are open this weekend and the next, then we close it down for the summer.  We’re all in desperate need of weekends and time to recoup and refill our cups out here, so we can come back whole and strong for the plant sale and dahlia CSA in September.

  Thank you to all of you who have come along with us for this beautiful and bountiful Spring and shared in our flowers, plants, and seeds and made them a part of your own homes and gardens.  We’re excited for all of you to have success growing your own food and beauty and nurturing life in your own yards.

  Have a great weekend!