Specialty Cut Flowers

The Specialty Crops Program grew over 100 varieties of cut flowers for demonstration at the Horticulture Research Center (HRC) outside of Fort Collins, Colorado during the 2004 growing season. Specialty Crops Program Cut Flower Demonstration

Many of the varieties were seeded in the greenhouse on April 12th and 13th (indicated with a GH in the comments column). Seeds were planted into 72-cell trays filled with Sunshine No. 3 brand soil mix and topped with vermiculite to aid in keeping the seeds moist. Seedlings were fertilized once a week with fish emulsion fertilizer fed through an injector. These seedlings were transplanted at the HRC on May 24th and June 1st.

The rest of the flower varieties (indicated with a DS in the comments column) were direct seeded in the field. Holes were punched into the black plastic and the seeds planted. A small amount of vermiculite was placed on top to aid in keeping the seeds moist. Unfortunately, we had poor germination with many of these varieties most likely due to not having run the drip tape irrigation long enough or frequent enough to keep the soil adequately moist.
Tall varieties were trellised using plastic netting and cut 3/4″ plastic tubing for hoops . Click here for more details on our trellising system. Cut Flower Trellising Technique

Most of the cut flower varieties performed well. Only a few pest problems were noticed. The flea beetles hit the China Asters, Bee Balm, Okra, and Hyacinth Bean hard early on. Most seem to recover or grow through the damage except for the Bee Balm. The ornamental kale had caterpillar damage but spraying with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) kept it under control.

Click on the following links for photos and comments on each of the varieties grown:

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