As our season begins to come to an end, it always seems as thou the flowers colors become more vivid in an effort to prolong the season and save themselves! The bouquets I delivered yesterday for our Monday drop-off subscription where some of the most beautiful of the season. Yesterday was also the end of the season for many of our subscribers and I will tell you that I saw some sad faces and heard comments like "What are we suppose to do all winter without flowers?" It certainly did my heart good to hear so many kind words about the flowers I love so much and work so hard for.
Our garden has slowed down producing for a couple of reasons. First the tropical storm that blew thru a couple weeks ago damaged our most productive garden and this late in the season with cooler temps it will not re-grow enough to recover.
Secondly, fall is the time that gardens normally begin to slow because the days begin to shorten and the temps begin to drop. As the days shorten it signals the plants to stop blooming and get busy making seed—life is almost over!!! Some flowers begin to put on their show in these conditions such as Dahlias, Morning Glory vines, Moon Flower vines, etc.
There are some sunflower varieties that will grow and bloom in the fall right up until frost. The "Pro Cut" series which we love and actually grow almost exclusively now all season for several reasons. But for fall flowers they are excellent. They are day length neutral which means that they will bloom even as the days begin to shorten and sunflowers are pretty cold tolerant so its like a perfect marriage for fall flowers! Plus everyone loves sunflowers in the fall! I pay special attention to watering and feeding in the fall to get the biggest bloom possible.
For the birds also–Pro Cut sunflowers also make for a great late season snack for the birds. Keep Pro Cut Sunflowers in mind for fall planting for next year. They come in a couple of different colors. Click here to view: http://www.tgwshop.com/servlet/the-ALL/keyword/Pro-cut/searchpath/29683/start/9/total/13/Categories
Another problem I have with fall flowers is all the pollinators- butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, moths, etc literally sucking the life out of the flowers. As there are fewer and fewer flowers for them to visit they are ganging up on what is available and this zaps the vase life of the flowers. I literally have them following the harvest buckets into the building! I love them but good grief!
So, just another day in the life of a flower farmer.