We only have six weeks left in the 2020 growing season! It's time to start thinking about all the chores that need to be completed before we put the farm to bed. This time of year fills me with so many mixed emotions. On one hand I am sad that the end is near, but on the other I am filled with the hope and promise of the upcoming year. September is usually the time that I review the notes we've kept and order the seeds to direct-seed in mid October. I also review the orders for fall planted bulbs and begin to prepare the beds that we'll be growing them in. We are still growing sunflowers, roselilies, zinnias, ornamental kale, bachelor's buttons, lemon balm, and heritage chrysanthemums, so we are still weeding, watering, harvesting, designing, and taking beautiful blooms to market while preparing to put the farm to bed. It's a busy time of transition and we enjoy every minute of it.
The most important step that we take during this transisition is the soil test. Each year we collect the soil we need and send it off through our extenstion agent for testing. When the test results come in, our agent, Jennifer Schutter, reviews the results with us. This test tells us just what we need to do to amend the soil so we can produce beautiful blooms next year. It is very important as it helps us plan where we will be sowing seed or planting transplants. We grow more than 25 species of flowers, herbs, and other plants here on the farm. Many of the have different soil needs and we want to make sure that we are giving them all the things they need to thrive and produce beautiful blooms. Healthy soil will yield a landscape that resists weeds. We are investigating what cover crops will work to help surpress weed growth and are also researching corn gluten meal as an organic weed preventer to be used in the spring. These measures will be very helpful in controlling weeds next season, especially since we are once again expanding our growing space.