Without a doubt the biggest challenge this year has been the weather. We had a cold, wet spring with snow as late as April. This made it near impossible to work the soil, which was mostly flooded, and left the plants pot-bound in the glasshouse or polytunnels. Also left us rushing to get everything planted out in the small window of time we had when we could finally get onto the land. We got a month of decent weather. This was then followed by the hottest, driest summer I have ever known.
What have we learned from these challenges?
- You will never have enough space (or time!). Be creative with glasshouse and polytunnel shelving.
- Don’t sow tender annuals too early. Big, leggy, pot-bound plants do not transplant well.
- Plan for the worst – floods, heatwaves and drought. If you get the worst you will survive. However if you get a trouble free year you will thrive.
- Never give up. In flower farming there is always something to look forward to and always a positive next step you can take.