Ever since we started working with WakeUP’s colloidal micelle technology back in 2008, Renewable Farming’s office manager, Jeanene Carlson, has been spraying WakeUP mixes along with various nutrients on her flowers and ornamentals. Now, our grandson Blake has begun growing cut flowers commercially — using WakeUP Summer and nutrients to power them into more brilliant blooms and long shelf life.
August 15, 2017 by Jerry Carlson — We’ve never pushed WakeUP for use on flowers, shrubs and other ornamental plants. But homeowners have done so for years. One Maryland enthusiast sprays WakeUP Spring alone, and sometimes with fertilizers, each season on his lawn turf and pasture, where it amplifies root development.
Here are some of the flowers Blake is raising for local sale. His niche is to offer species that aren’t available in the wholesale market. One surprisingly popular, and spectacular, bloom is a bouquet that includes sunflowers of several varieties. Blake’s brothers, Terry and Lane, pitched in to help with much of the mulching, planting and weed control jobs.
Here are a few colorful examples to show what we (Grandpa and Grandma) get to see from our back deck each day. A lot more colorful than corn or beans!
Some of Blake’s species are heritage flowers purchased from the Seed Savers farm at nearby Decorah, Iowa. These zinnias will be allowed to go to seed, then harvested and the seed cleaned. He acquired a fanning mill for that job. Note the six-inch-thick mulch layer which restrains weeds.
Butterflies, bees and birds are attracted to all the blooms. A friend who owns 20 acres has resolved to turn most of the acres from corn and beans into a butterfly haven. We’re fortunate to have a research group on natural prairie based two miles from us at the University of Northern Iowa — The Tallgrass Prairie Center. The Center is working with Blake on establishing prairie as part of the enviroscape on this “campus.”
Many of the bulb-type flowers will be both harvested for bouquets as well as bulbs for sale. An example:
Yes, there are red sunflowers! Blake has found several varieties of “heirloom” sunflowers.