University of Maryland Extension started conducting cut flower farm tours and educational programs for specialty cut flower crops in the late 1980s. When the tours and programs started, a specialty cut flower was considered anything not a rose, carnation, or a mum. Growers produce specialty cut flower crops in small backyards and on large farms in the field, high tunnels, and greenhouses. UME stresses the importance of monitoring crops regularly to reduce the chance of problems with insects, diseases, and nutrients.
Crested celosia is one of the many specialty cut flowers grown in Maryland.
At the Weaver’s Farm, they use fiberglass stakes to support their cut flower netting. The ones shown here are U-shaped which provide better support, but are also more expensive than the L-shaped stakes.
Growers can produce some crops (like lisianthus) in high tunnels in order to start production earlier in the spring and extend the season later in the fall. High tunnels are unheated structures with sides that can be raised when it gets too hot.
Perforated row covers are used to start a cut flower crop earlier in the season. The perforations allow for the release of moisture and heat.