Whether you are a CSA member or a community member excited to start picking in our PYO flower garden, I hope you enjoy everything we are growing this year. The recent cloudy, rainy days have slowed growth and blooming in some of our plants, but there is still plenty to pick! Whatever you end up picking, I’d like to share some tips and tricks to keep your flowers looking good all week long.
When you pick:
- Just like vegetables, most flowers don’t like the heat or being in direct sunlight once picked. The stems will always be less stressed and look better if you are able to pick in the morning or late afternoon or when it’s cloudy. If you need to pick on a hot sunny day, just be sure to get your flowers home as soon as you can or even stick them in the fridge once you get home. They’ll perk right up!
- When you harvest flowers, be sure to strip off any leaves that may be further down the stem. This is something you can do as you pick or you can wait until you get home. You will want to remove them because bacteria is more likely to affect the health of the flower if its leaves are sitting in water. Just hold the stem below the bud in one hand and with your other hand, run your pointer finger and thumb in a quick, downward motion.
- When choosing flowers, find buds that haven’t fully opened. Each flower looks different during its stages of life so it might take some practice to know what each flower looks like when they should be picked. Flowers will continue to bloom in your vase, so the younger you pick them, the longer they will last.
When you get home:
- Be sure to use a clean vase or jar. There are many recipes online for making your own flower preservative to add to the water, but I personally have never tried any of them. I’m sure it couldn’t hurt!
- If you haven’t stripped the leaves off, do so now. You also don’t need to trim the stems when you bring them home. A clean container and fresh water is all you need. Wait to trim until later in the week.
During the week:
- If not using a preservative, change the water daily. If you are, you will still want to change the water at some point during the week to remove any possible bacteria.
- After a few days, trim the ends of the stems and remove any flowers that are beginning to wilt.
I hope you find something useful here so you can enjoy beautiful flowers all week long.
Until next time,