How to grow cut flowers even in reduced spaces
When we think about the idea of growing cut flowers, we immediately think that we will need to have an extensive land area that allows us to cultivate large amounts of flowers. However, the good news is that this is not necessarily true, since it is also possible to dedicate yourself to the massive production of flowers even if you have a reduced space. What is essential is to be able to make the most of every inch of land available in order to meet our own requirements and those of our customers.
How to make the most of the land available for flower cultivation
One of the main aspects that must be considered when growing different varieties of cut flowers is to try to implement production techniques that are used in large fields, but on a smaller scale as a measure to boost crops. That way, when one of the varieties is about to produce flowers, another variety must be ready to grow in its place to prevent the production from stopping. If we don’t have large spaces we must organise the rotation of what space we have with the flowering of the different varieties we want to grow.
If you’re just initiating the road into the world of floriculture and its practices, one of the things you should avoid at all costs is to fall into despair or let yourself be carried away by uncertainty. Before starting, it is important to know what tools are available to prepare the soil, water the plants and give them the stability they need to obtain great quality flowers.
Another aspect to consider is the possibility to take full advantage of the planting area available by performing nearby plant spacing, since most plants only require a minimum amount of space to develop. The goal is to plant rows from side to side in a grid.
Another advantage that helps increase the production of cut flowers that develop in a small space is that while these fill up, the canopy of the leaves covers the surface of the soil managing to keep weeds under control.
According to information published on the website Floret, some of the farmers discovered after several trial and error tests, that one of the best options to cultivate in small spaces was to create only six separate spacing regimes: 6″x 6,” 8″x12,” 9″x9,” 12″x12,” and 18” x18,” where the 9″x9″ spacing is the most commonly used. Before discovering this formula, florists could produce up to 140 plants in 70-foot beds. “With the new method, the plants were spaced 9” x 9″, resulting in five rows per bed and a total of 466 plants. That’s more than three times the amount of plants in the same bed.”
A crucial factor when it comes to how to grow cut flowers is to try to prepare a soil that has consistent widths and lengths that facilitate the process of calculating the number of plants needed.
Using plastics for growing cut flowers
For some decades now, plastic films have been used in floriculture with the aim of enhancing crops and to manage to grow many of the varieties at different times of the year, without stopping production.
One of the most commonly used plastics is the one found on greenhouses, which allows to protect plants from poor weather conditions such as: low temperatures, strong winds, hail, storms, low air humidity or excessive solar radiation.
Another of the most common plastics used is the one for mulching, which saves water and heats the soil, thus allowing producers to obtain harvests earlier and with a better commercial and sanitary appearance. It is one of the most beneficial plastics to use to cultivate cut flowers, creating favourable conditions for the soil and the environment such as: moisture preservation, maintenance of a good structure, better use of fertilizers, protection at the time of birth of plants and a smaller number of damaged products.
Florists also use floating covers placed on the crop to create a favourable microclimate at a specific time and period of growth, contributing to a higher and homogeneous quality, as well as larger or bigger flowers.
The small tunnels, along with the mulching are perfectly adapted to the semi-circular and simple structures that produce the desired greenhouse effect in small size crops. Also, the insolation decreases temperature and humidity under these small structures improving microclimate. If you need further information, we recommend you read our articles on the cut flowers industry in the United States and our case study in California regarding the application of anti-drip films in a flower farm to improve flower cultivation.
Floriculture products purchased from the florist have a high degree of homogeneity. Also, production periods can be extended through appropriate technologies, anticipating or delaying the time of the finished product outside of the natural date. Thus, changing the flowering times, many products can be on the market throughout the year.
If you need guidance on specific plastics for the cultivation of cut flowers, we can provide advice regarding the options of plastic films available depending on the type of flowers and weather conditions.