Snapdragons with the tops ‘pinched’.
Snapdragons with the tops ‘pinched’.
Still just seedlings but one polytunnel is now full.
Still just seedlings but one polytunnel is now full.
A closer look at the sweetpeas in the polytunnel and the string system to support them while they grow.
A closer look at the sweetpeas in the polytunnel and the string system to support them while they grow.
Cutting the chrysanthemums back.
Cutting the chrysanthemums back.

What’s Going On On The Farm? Part 4

And just like that, December is upon us. We’ve been super busy since our last update and we now have one completely full polytunnel!

After a bit of a ropey start, we transplanted the snapdragons (that hadn’t been eaten) to the polytunnel and they are now looking very happy. We’ve been using a technique called ‘pinching’, where you snap the tops off in order to make them branch out, creating more stems per plant.

We’ve been very busy burning holes in our landscape fabric, to mark out accurate spacing – this makes sure each variety has the amount of space it needs to grow (some require more space than others) but measuring accurately, as opposed to guessing, also means we use the space as efficiently as possible.

We’ve sown seeds for a variety of clarkia amoena, charmingly called ‘memory of spring’. This flower likes more spacing, so we can’t fit as many in one bed. In fact, it turns out we needed two beds for these. We’ll be interested to see how these guys turn out – we’re hoping they’ll be super beautiful because for a small flower, they’ve used a lot of space! This was a valuable lesson in choosing flowers and considering which ones are worth the space.

We had really good germination on our blue sweet peas but not quite as many peach ones were successful. We’ve planted these in the polytunnel now, using a tapestry-like system – strings come down vertically from horizontal overhead wires to support the vines as they grow and each plant has its own string to climb. We’ll probably end up with about double the amount of blues than peach and we’re also not quite sure how many usable stems we’ll get from each plant, so this one is a bit of an experiment for us to learn from.

We had a 4 hour stint working out when different varieties need to be sown in the greenhouse, the ideal size they need to be before they’re moved to the polytunnel and how much space they need to grow. Because we’ve still got things to sow and transplant, the space in our second polytunnel is reserved for this.

Last week we spent two days planting two colours of butterfly ranunculus. These prefer slightly cooler temperatures to that in the polytunnel, so we’ve used cloche hoops with polythene stretched over to create a kind of mini polytunnel structure that are about knee-high.

Our chrysanthemums are now done, so we are cutting these back and will use two varieties again for next year.

The shipping containers for our refrigeration units are in place and painted but not being used just yet. These will be for when we have lots of cut flowers from the field to store and keep fresh.

Back to blog
Still just seedlings but one polytunnel is now full.
Still just seedlings but one polytunnel is now full.
A closer look at the sweetpeas in the polytunnel and the string system to support them while they grow.
A closer look at the sweetpeas in the polytunnel and the string system to support them while they grow.
Cutting the chrysanthemums back.
Cutting the chrysanthemums back.
  • All of our flowers are delivered using a carbon neutral service
  • All of our packaging is recyclable or biodegradable & we compost all of our green waste for use on the farm
  • We donate 5% of our profits to bee conservation charities
  • We plant a tree for every 100 bouquets we send