Sustainably Grown – The Petaled Garden
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Sustainably Grown

butterfly with flower
praying mantis, healthy insects, sustainable flower farm
cosmos with bee, flower and bee, sustainable flowers, pollenating flower

What “Sustainably Grown” means at The Petaled Garden

Sustainability means different things to different people, but for us, sustainability starts with the health of our soil.  Chuck’s expertise in soil health is invaluable in our commitment to growing our flowers using sustainable and organic practices.  Outlined below are some soil health basics and other sustainable practices we use on the farm.

Soil Health

At its heart, soil health is defined as the capacity of soil to function. To help determine that, we believe if you cannot measure it then you will never be able to manage it. Toward that end, we use an assessment approach which uses field/lab indicators to help measure the three essential components of soil – biology, chemistry, and physical structure. This analysis gives us a clear picture of where the strengths are in our fields but more importantly where the constraints lie. With this information, we can then focus on what soil health improvements are needed saving both time and money.

Cover Crops

Our soil and field management approach includes the use of cover crop mixtures or cocktails. Our cover cropping strategies helps to add nitrogen & organic matter, improve soil structure, prevent erosion, control weeds, manage nutrients and provide winter fallow to the fields. We are not a no-till operation as we incorporate our ground covers into the soil as a green manure amendment using a rototiller.

Crop rotation

Crop rotation is a smart practice in any agrarian endeavor, even on a small-scale farm like ours. Flowers, like any crop not only have different soil health and fertility requirements, they are also a host to a wide range of potential soil borne insect and disease problems. Seasonal crop rotation helps to better manage available fertility throughout the field while also preventing insect and diseases from becoming a chronic problem.

Wise Water Management

We use drip irrigation throughout the farm to help focus our use of water to where the flowers need it – their roots.  Drip irrigation also helps reduce the amount of water evaporation typical of overhead sprinklers as well as the incidence of fungal diseases caused by leaves and flower petals staying wet.

Reduction of Single Use Plastics

We try our best to not use single-use plastics in our farming operation. This year we are experimenting with soil blocking so we can eliminate the endless cycle of seedling trays.

Using Organic Methods to Grow our Flowers

While we are not certified organic, we do not use any synthetic fertilizers or pesticides on our farm.