Despite the expected challenges that too much rain brings – field flooding, fungal diseases, not enough sunlight, soggy feet – the most heartbreaking part for our little farm is that we lost our entire dahlia crop. We planted our 2,000 dahlia tubers on May 1 which is typical for our area. Looking back over my field notes, I wrote that on May 17-19 we had “too much rain” and then a note on May 20th that we had over 12″ of rain that week. On May 21, I wrote that most all of the dahlias were sprouting and was feeling kind of hopeful that they would survive, but then it continued to rain for another week and half. After doing some exploratory digging to check on the tubers, it was clear that almost all the dahlias were rotten. As devastating as the loss of that crop is our business, I’ve taken this season as an opportunity to study what plants can survive or even thrive in soggy weather and also its helped me to learn more about the drainage (or lack thereof) in our fields and how to better plan for next year – more on that in a later post!
So what flowers are doing well this year? Lots of them! But especially the zinnias – this is hands down the best zinnia crop that we’ve ever had! I’ve always loved zinnias and tend towards growing way too many. My goal this year was to limit production to a handful of varieties that I love using in design work, that really pop in market bouquets and that sell well to other designers. Goal achieved!