Tiny seeds, big blooms

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We’ve been spending a lot of time in our seed sowing chamber (aka the basement storage room).  Haha!  We’re super fancy over here at Bochner Farms.

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But seriously, it’s been so energizing to get our seeds started and watch them grow.  We are growing dozens of varieties of flowers this season, many of which are new to us.  And wow, it’s amazing to me how diverse the different seeds are.  From tiny seeds not much bigger than a grain of sand, to larger seeds that look like little pieces of grain.  Probably the most complex is the differences in germination requirements and growing conditions for each different type of flower.  Some like it dark, some need light to germinate.  Some prefer to be on a heat mat, while others prefer it cool.  Some will sprout in a few days, others take a couple weeks or longer.

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It’s a bit of a dance to coordinate and give every flower the best growing conditions.  And don’t even get me started on all the conflicting information I find when I type in a Google search.  When I say conflicting information, I mean totally polar opposite information.  It’s true…you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.  So, we’re just getting our hands in the dirt and digging in. Taking careful notes along the way, and learning so much.  Real life experience is truly the best teacher.  But, I have to tell you, the flower farming community in Iowa, and around the globe, is so very generous with their wisdom and experience.  So many new friends taking the time to share what works for them and their farms.  It’s such a blessing to be part of this flower farming tribe.

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So, while the weather still cold here in Iowa, and we can’t start planting out in the field yet, we continue to sow tray after tray of seeds.  And every single day, we inspect the seedling trays to see what’s sprouted.  We probably look like fools leaning over the trays, inspecting them closely, and jumping for joy to see little babies popping up so green and beautiful.

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Of all the seeds we sow, one of the most surprising in my opinion is the snapdragon.  These seeds are teeny tiny, like grain of sand tiny.  But, the blooms are tall, strong spikes with big fluffy petals.  It takes over 100 days to go from seedling to full bloom, but totally worth the wait.  Last year, we grew two different types of snapdragons.  I wish I had pictures of them blooming right now, but I will be sure to “snap” (pun intended) lots of photos this summer.  We’re expanding our snapdragon production this year, and will be growing six different varieties.  I can’t wait to see those stunners crank out a beautiful, colorful show!

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Our bouquet subscription customers will undoubtedly find them tucked into their bouquets and we’ll have buckets of those fluffy blooms at the Waukee Farmers Market and Indianola Farmers Market as well.  If all goes according to plan, and Mother Nature doesn’t cause too much havoc, we’ll have a bountiful harvest of snapdragons, and a whole lot more, to share with all of you.  I can’t wait.

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