Money saving tips for efficient flower farming

Money Saving for efficient flower production

#Britishflowers hour Monday 24th April hosted by Moa Carlsson @Carlssonandco and Kirsty Reid @TeenyWeenyFarm with notes by Jill Smith @Binningtonblooms

Iris are great for propagating into lots more plants

Iris are great for propagating into lots more plants

Saving money is about saving time and growing more efficiently and also about reducing wastage, reusing and recycling wherever possible.

Finding efficiency and low wastage is just as important as purchasing something cheaply.  Do a true cost of production exercise include not only seed and plant costs but your time, packaging right down to rubber bands, car insurance, fuel costs etc.  Keeping a record of these costs not only helps you sell at the right price but also lets you see where savings might be made.

Buying through Flowers from the Farm member’s bulk buy is a good way to source quality plants, seeds or bulbs cost effectively.

Growing perennials in large quantities can be expensive – savings can be made by

sowing from seed,

dividing plants each year – alchemilla, sedum, veronicastrum, centaurea respond well

propagate by division – artichokes, astrantia, veronica, delphiniums.

buying perennials out of season or even rescuing nearly dead cheap plants from the garden centre.

sourcing from a garden designer who buy in large quantities and may have plants spare.

buying from local plant sales/fairs.

Seed cost savings include

Sharing and swopping with other growers

Saving seed from own plants, difficult if all flowers get sold, maybe keep a small patch to go to seed for this purpose.

self seeded plants which can be moved into manageable rows

Propagation and grafting is a money saving technique, can be challenging and experimental but good fun.

Saving costs on fixed equipment such as greenhouse and propagators

Ask in your local area if anyone has a greenhouse they no longer want, they could be very grateful if you dismantle and take away.

Invite friends round to construct greenhouse/polytunnel, turns into a party.

A building site could be a source of block pavings for paths.

Propagators can be constructed from re purposing materials

Packaging and vases

Buying vases, jugs and baskets from charity shops is popular.

Use a glass cutter to upcycle bottles and jars into useable vases, creates something quite different.  Technique needs practise but very effective when you master it.

Keep an eye on local Freegle and Freecycle publications/websites for your area.

Paper for wrapping flowers in can be sourced cheaper than from floral sundry suppliers eg.  butchers paper or paper from car trade for spraypaint masking.

Flower buckets can be sourced at some supermarkets or from florists who would otherwise have to pay to get rid of them.

Plant labels

make from plastic milk cartons.

wooden coffee stirrers

wooden craft sticks come in a variety of colours