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Celebrating American Flowers Week and customers that buy local flowers.

Filtering by Category: Farmer's Market

Knowing when to Plant in Central Florida

Natalie Lyons

Transplanting seedlings

“Oppositeville,” that’s what one of our farmer friends calls our area of the country. Most seed packets indicate that you should plant something like X weeks before last frost or XX after last frost date. Everything - seed packets, books, podcasts - they are all geared for areas with very different climates. Where does that leave us? If we want to grow a flower we haven’t grown before, first we see if we can tell from Instragram feeds of some Florida farmers when they were growing it. But in reality, that shows only the BLOOM time.

We grow most everything from seed, tuber, or corm, so we need to know when to sow. Looking at the temperature for germination on the seed packs is a good gauge, but if we stuck strictly to that, we would pretty much plant only in late fall, winter or very early spring. We need Fall flowers, so we have to sow some seed in July and August, and it’s hot, buggy, humid and really rainy here in July and August. So here in Central Florida we are planting the opposite of people in most of the country, and until we get a lot more experience, we are doing a lot of experimenting.

Of course, sunflowers and zinnia are a sure bet, so we can be pretty certain that when September 7th rolls around and we return to the Ocala Downtown Market, we will have flowers to sell.

American Flowers Week 2019

Natalie Lyons

Flag style American Flowers Week 2019.png

Launched in 2015 by Slow Flowers founder, Debra Prinzing, American Flowers Week is a one-week community-focused celebration to raise consumer awareness about the origins of their flowers and to unite America’s flower farmers with the U.S. floral industry.

Millwood Flower Farm in Reddick, Florida, is proud to be part of the Slow Flowers movement, providing locally grown flowers to Ocala and Gainesville, Florida. And we are grateful to our customers for making our local business possible.

Growing flowers in Florida in the summer is tough! The heat index is often over 100 degrees, so very few flowers are left in our field, and what is left, we are either drying for the winter season or we’re enjoying on our tables. We are busy buying seeds for next season’s flowers and soon the seed-starting will begin in earnest, so we can be back at the farmer’s market in September.

Reflecting back over our first season of having flowers for sale, I feel so grateful for the patrons of the Ocala Downtown Market. We missed you last Saturday - our first Saturday that we didn’t spend with you in 5 months. We love to see your joyful expressions as you pick a bouquet. We even like to watch the involuntary smiles as non-customers walk past our booth. Who doesn’t love flowers?!