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Jul 17, 2017 9:13 AM CST
|I have been pretty scarce on here the past couple of months because I have been helping my father-in-law with his daylily farm. He has about 3 acres of daylilies planted in fields and a sizable display garden area that my MIL set up around their house. They had a couple new grand babies added to the family this spring, and my MIL has had some health concerns. Plus my FIL added a 70' greenhouse this year and it is almost full of tomatoe plants...which have taken up almost all of his time.|
So I started going out to help weed, then I stayed to help with his Daylily Days (he is just a local farm, no internet presence yet). And now it looks like my hubby and I will be doing most of the digging for when the orders need to be met. I have also been talking to him about ways to make it run more efficiently (see the Lining Out thread I started yesterday).
Anyway, yesterday when we were sitting and talking during a lull in sales. He looked at my hubby and I and asked us if we were ready to just take it over. He wants to focus on tomatoes and another green house with other produce and feels he can't physically keep up with the amount of daylilies he has. I am equal parts excited and terrified about this prospect, but my hubby is fully on board. So expect to see more posts about how to do things like lining out. My big concern right now is weed control. I have a pretty good handle on it here in my little home garden, but on that large of a scale...the weeds are currently winning the war. I also hope to get a website set up, maybe this fall...we will see. Wish me luck!
Jul 17, 2017 9:20 AM CST
|Wow, very exciting! I would love to have an opportunity like that, best of luck!|
Keep Calm and Carry On
Jul 17, 2017 10:21 AM CST
crawgarden said:Wow, very exciting! I would love to have an opportunity like that, best of luck!
Wish you all the best!
Jul 17, 2017 10:24 AM CST
|I wish you much success!|
Jul 17, 2017 10:30 AM CST
|Go for it! |
do a website for sure.
Jul 17, 2017 10:39 AM CST
What a fabulous opportunity, Amber! This really is the stuff of dreams, I guess
On the other hand I understand your concerns...
Think it through and do your math and I'm sure you will make the right decision
a DL flower a day keeps the doctor away
Jul 17, 2017 10:45 AM CST
| Good luck Amber. Wishing you great success! |
(Georgia Native in Florida)
Name: Virginia Harmon
Woodside, CA 94062 (Zone 8b)
Jul 17, 2017 10:46 AM CST
|Congratulations! It looks like your future is laid out before you. |
You might look at drip irrigation with a fertilizer injection system. It will reduce water waste and ensure even nutrient distribution. After fall cleanup, apply a broad spectrum pre emergent herbicide to get weeds under control. You can disuse that in a year or two and become more organic.
Member of AHS
Jul 17, 2017 10:59 AM CST
|I think that is great news for all of us...I hope it is great news your you and your husband! Please keep us informed on a step by step basis. This would make a very interesting blog to follow!|
Jul 17, 2017 11:14 AM CST
Every now and then I have a quiet chat with the skeletons in my closet...just so they don't come looking for me on their own.
Jul 17, 2017 11:49 AM CST
|Woohoo! Good for you! (And the rest of us addicts lol). Please do keep us updated with progress. And pictures... And your eventual website... And sales! |
Scout's motto: Be Prepared...
Jul 17, 2017 12:15 PM CST
|Congratulations Amber! |
Start slow, get your feet wet, decide if this is going to be your full-time job and then go for the moon! Oh, and hire some kids in the summer to do the digging for you.
Most of all, have fun!
Jul 17, 2017 12:16 PM CST
|Wow! Probably both exciting and a little scary. |
Wishing you all the best!
Jul 17, 2017 12:24 PM CST
|What an awesome opportunity Amber!!! I understand your concern on the weeds, but wow!|
Diana you read my mind - keep us posted as to website and sale
Be a person that makes others feel special.
Jul 17, 2017 1:43 PM CST
|How exciting! I look forward to your progress! With all the great advice on this forum, I know it will success|
Jul 17, 2017 1:51 PM CST
|Thank you everyone. |
A little of the backstory...my FIL has only had the farm going for about 5 years. He was able to buy a lot of bulk inventory from a gentleman who was retiring in our area. My FIL never does anything small either. We have about 350 registered cultivars in 3 acres of fields. Most cultivars are from the late 80s through the early 2000s. These are field tested, hardy varieties as he almost never waters the fields. They look amazing this year because we got rain at all the right times. Many have been there for 5 years now, so the clumps are HUGE!
Right now he just does walk up business. We had over 70 visitors and sold about 500 DF just in the past four weekends of Daylily Days. In the past he has dug orders in late August and then personally delivers them to people.
Some of my goals for the place, which he and I have been discussing for the past month include
1) weed control...we have to find something that works for that area and the types of weeds he has (ragweed, sedge, dandelions, some type of invasive vine, etc)
2) make digging and delivering orders more efficient and done in a way that the plants are delivered right after they are dug. My first priority with that is getting them lined out to make digging easier...and we would have the ability to dig an order the day it was placed if a customer wanted that option. I also think we should eliminate delivery as it just isn't cost effective...but my FIL says he would be willi to keep doing deliveries.
3) eliminate some of the excess inventory. He has LOTS of BIG clumps of some cultivars. We don't need that much inventory. For example, he has about 25 BIG clumps of Hamlet...we will never sell that much, especially not when these things keep multiplying. My plan there is to contact area nurseries and landscapers and offer them bulk prices or per clump prices.
4) website. The biggest reason I haven't done a website yet is that several of the ones out in his fields are mislabeled. Many of the bulk varieties he got from the guy going out of business were already labeled wrong, then he misplaced some labels while mowing, and other labels just wore out over time. So I have spent a LOT of time this year taking pictures of and measuring the mislabeled ones so I can identify them. The man who they purchased them from gave them a master list of which daylilies he owned...so that will narrow down the possibilities quite a bit. However, most are already confirmed, so I am exploring website options. I like the look of the plantstep websites and the cost is good for starting out...if anyone has any inside info on how that website server works, I would love to hear it.
5) yes to the teenage labor! My kids are 14, 12, & 10, and they have a 14 year old cousin. I plan on making them my first labor force (paid of course)
I'm sure I am forgetting something else very important. But those are my steps for now...
Thanks again everyone for the encouragement and advice. Right now I plan on this being part time for me during the school year as I am a speech therapist at a school. But that also means I am almost completely free mid-May to mid-August...which is prime garden season for us. We will see where it goes from here!
Jul 17, 2017 1:58 PM CST
|The daylily garden near me has a bloomfest for a couple of weeks in summer and during that time they offer clump sales and they also give a bonus daylily if you purchase multiple daylilies. That may be a way to get rid of some of the big clumps and noids.|
Jul 17, 2017 2:18 PM CST
|Maybe it would be good to visit a few daylily farms and talk to the owners about your ideas, benchmark on others ideas and mistakes.|
Keep Calm and Carry On
Jul 17, 2017 4:37 PM CST
|It sounds like you have a really good start on things Amber! And also people here are giving good advice! Good luck |
Be a person that makes others feel special.
southern Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Jul 17, 2017 4:52 PM CST
|Sounds like you have a lot of great plans, and a perfect job to free you up too. Best of luck!|