Our anemones
Our anemones
Candy striped ranunculus
Candy striped ranunculus
Second sowing of ranunculus - outside this tme
Second sowing of ranunculus - outside this tme
Sweetpeas at the back, snapdragons at the front
Sweetpeas at the back, snapdragons at the front
Planting out the larkspur
Planting out the larkspur

What’s Going On On The Farm? Part 6

You may remember from our last update that we had some very early, slightly imperfect anemones just starting to bloom. Well they’ve really gone for it since then and they are truly beautiful.

The ranunculus haven’t looked too happy in a couple of the beds, so after a social media cry for help the wonderful Zoe from @swancottageflowers gave us some suggestions and tips. Turns out we shouldn’t have used landscape fabric as they like to be nice and cool around the base and are susceptible to mildew. The plants were still small enough on two out of three of the beds to remove the landscape fabric but we would’ve caused too much damage trying to remove it from our striped ranunculus as they were much bigger. At least this way we can trial different methods and see which ones turn out best.

The ranunculus are now absolutely blooming their socks off which was both a joy and slightly alarming as we realised that as Petalon has grown over the last year, we hadn’t planted nearly enough to be able to put one stem in each of our weekly bouquets. We had to think on our feet as we could tell we were about to have a lot of flowers, just not enough for the purpose we originally had in mind. So we came up with ‘Field Flowers’ and are now selling our homegrown flowers by the box and the response has been a bit overwhelming. It’s a great way to make sure nothing homegrown goes to waste and it’s made us even more excited for the summer when the field will be in full swing. It’s been so amazing to see the flowers we grew in homes up and down the country. This is still in its early stages but for now, if you’d like to know when Field Flowers are available to buy, sign up to our story notifications on Instagram. They are limited, so they sell fast!

We’ve been on an intense seed sowing mission. Thousands of seedlings are doing their thing in our greenhouse. Our season is a little earlier in Cornwall than other parts of the country but we were fooled by the warmer weather and 600 zinnia froze to death in the polytunnel when the temperatures dropped one night. Another lesson learnt and not only will we plant them a little later next year but we’ll also never take them out of the cosy greenhouse so soon! We’ve sown more seeds this week, so hopefully zinnias will still be on the menu this summer. We ran out of space on the heat bench so James made a quick propagating system in the hut using plug-in heat mats and strip lighting. It’s worked surprisingly well!

All the plants in the polytunnel have grown over a foot in a month – the sweetpeas have had a big haircut to trim off all the side shoots and concentrate all the growing power to the main stem. Apparently we will get a longer stem length this way but it was still hard to be ruthless when you’ve grown them from seeds. The butterfly ranunculus are loving life outside (they prefer the cold) and new shoots have shot up over one week and the buds are starting to colour up which is so exciting. The pinks are way ahead of the peaches.

Our second sowing of anemones and ranunculus have gone outside. We suspect we probably did this too soon but time will tell. It will get too hot for them in the polytunnel in April/May so this is why we are trying them outside. This year is all about testing and seeing what works best for us.

We planted out the cynoglossum (like an extra long forget-me-not) and the larkspur as they looked really unhappy in their cell trays. Really you’re meant to ‘pot on’ (transplant to pots) before planting out but with the amount we’ve sown there aren’t enough hours in the day and we also don’t particularly want to buy that many plastic pots. If we get away with it this year we’ll be very happy.

James built a greenhouse using his favourite railway sleepers – we’re pretty sure it’s just for him and his vegetables but it’s very beautiful.

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Candy striped ranunculus
Candy striped ranunculus
Second sowing of ranunculus - outside this tme
Second sowing of ranunculus - outside this tme
Sweetpeas at the back, snapdragons at the front
Sweetpeas at the back, snapdragons at the front
Planting out the larkspur
Planting out the larkspur
  • 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