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Arnosky Family Farms Cut Flowers

encore date: May 25, 2017

original air date: October 1, 2016

These days, we’re into local food, but how local are the floral bouquets we buy? At the Arnosky Family Farms near Blanco, meet Pamela and Frank Arnosky who restored the Texas cut flower industry. Get their tips for starting winter flowers and how they rotate crops for hand-packaged bouquets every day of the year. Plus, we stopped by the American Grown Flowers Field to Vase dinner event where slow food meets slow flowers. Trisha Shirey crafts unique flower arrangements by blending garden harvests with a few store-bought additions. See how equisetum, liriope, nolina and even garden sticks style up berries, fruits, and flowers. Daphne explains how to keep spicy-scented dianthus from rotting. Plus, she answers a viewer’s question on whether to cut back a stately Euphorbia ammak.

Read the blog here!

Interview

Winter Cut Flowers with Pamela and Frank Arnosky

These days, we’re into local food, but how local are the floral bouquets we buy? At the Arnosky Family Farms near Blanco, meet Pamela and Frank Arnosky who restored the Texas cut flower industry. Get their tips for starting winter flowers and how they rotate crops for hand-packaged bouquets every day of the year. Plus, we stopped by the American Grown Flowers Field to Vase dinner event where slow food meets slow flowers.

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Question of the Week

What is this succulent I got as a tiny plant and how to care for it?

Thanks to Vicki and Jack Newton for this great question! When they bought their Euphorbia ammak at a grocery store, it was a petite 18” tall. Four years later, it’s grown into a majestic 10’ front door greeting.

When they picked up the new baby, it was just labeled “cactus,” which is often the case. There was no info on its care or mature size.  And it’s quite common for these adorable little plants to end up in the compost pile a few months later. Vicki and Jack did a great job with this one!

Eric Pedley from East Austin Succulents identified it as Euphorbia ammak and noted that it was a beautiful specimen!

Per Vicki and Jack’s question about areas where the plant is more narrow in sections: this is minor and not an issue.

Just be sure to always plant euphorbias in a very heavy pot with sandy, well-drained soil that’s heavy in weight (add decomposed granite). Here’s Eric Pedley’s potting mix.

Vicki and Jack wisely stepped up its pot gradually; now in a 36” deep container.  It’s better to go in stages, moving up just a pot size bigger.

Keep it in full sun, as they have in their stylish front door courtyard. Do bring a tall plant like this close to the house when winds are intense to avoid its toppling over.

They also want to know: will it produce offshoots?  Well, this species of Euphorbia doesn’t make them for many years in their native habitat, and theirs may never make one in its current habitat.

But it’s a gorgeous plant and Vicki and Jack have done a great job as new succulent parents!

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Plant of the Week

Dianthus

Dianthus

Perennial dianthus is often called Sweet William, due to its spicy fragrance with hints of clove and cinnamon. Related to carnations, but much smaller and more delicate, dianthus plants make a cheerful addition to any garden. Although some species can get up to 18” tall, most dianthus are usually only about 6” tall and about half as wide, so plant along the edges of borders and beds for best effect. Flowers are most often pink, white, or variegated, some even with red hues, blooming from spring all the way through fall. They can take full morning sun but will perform much better if given afternoon shade. The most challenging aspect may be your soil, as dianthus prefer growing in loosely textured soil with plenty of organic matter. These delicate looking plants are not as hard to maintain as their appearance might suggest, but you do need to be careful with watering. Dianthus need regular irrigation, but develop disease issues if they remain too wet. Water regularly, especially in the hottest, driest time of summer, but do so only in the morning and try to keep the leaves dry at all times. And keep mulch a considerable distance from individual dianthus plants. If the area around dianthus stays overly wet for too long, not only will the soil be too wet for the plant, but the high humidity around it will be a problem. Keeping this delicate soil balance of adequate moisture but low relative humidity, is the most challenging aspect of successfully growing dianthus. Full, bright morning sun, which will decrease air moisture around the plant, is critical. For best growth and blooms, fertilize every six to eight weeks with a balanced fertilizer (equal or relatively equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). Remove spent blooms and lightly trim to encourage new growth.

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