If you fail to plan you plan to fail

When our mind is full of so many tasks and situations, it’s easy to forget things. Right now, my mind is spinning with so many things. I’m sure you are in a similar spot. This  column is more for me to remember and put in place the plans  I need to stick to, so I don’t miss deadlines or scramble to get something I need. 

Use the reminders app or a note on your calendar to alert you to things that need to be done at certain times. You are super busy and before you know it, 3 weeks have passed. 

A good way to remember when to order tulips is that it’s just after they are done blooming. Here in southwestern Ontario tulips bloom in mid-May. Tulip orders are usually due July 1, very similar for anemone and ranunculus. They are usually ordered just after they are done blooming. That’s handy because you can remember the varieties you liked. Be sure to take photos on your phone of the blooms you liked. Star them as “favourite” photos so they don’t get lost. My bulb catalog just came last week. Instead of throwing it aside, I went through and starred the ones that I was instantly drawn to. I put a reminder in my phone to circle back and look through them again, as well as a reminder for the order deadline. The email for corm availability also has arrived. I flagged that email to come back to later.

Perennial and shrub liners and starts are also usually ordered in midsummer. Make notes of your favourite ones or the ones you want 4 rows of because they are so awesome. Use a notepad that you always carry with you or your phone to keep track of the superstars. 

Seed catalogs usually start to come in late summer/ early fall.  There are a few seed companies that have EARLY BIRD discounts. Set a reminder to look over your order and note the seeds that you are for sure going to need. Send in the order and take advantage of the discount! You are going to need them anyways. For floral supplies, it’s easy to lose track of how many you have on hand. A few tips for always having what you need. When you pile boxes of sleeves, write on the outside of the last box “ORDER ME” or “LAST BOX”. Then when you take the box above you are reminded to order them.
If you are using flower food packets with your bouquets make sure to have 2 boxes on hand. When there is only one box, order another. Same with elastics, floral glue, flower food tea bags, packing boxes, florist tape, etc. We use a local print shop for our bouquet stickers. They have my file in their system so I can just email them and tell them to do another batch. It’s super handy to have a local reliable source for your consumables. 

If you do successions of sunflowers or lilies start them on a certain day always. Then you know—every Monday plant 600 sunflowers. 
This is one I want to adopt better: use the online grocery shopping through the summer. Set up your orders. You can schedule them weeks in advance then go and pick them up at the store. Summer is so busy. Groceries is a task that in our house gets pushed back until absolutely necessary. 

I hope these few tips help. Even one of them can help you stay on track. 

Now I have to make a reminder of when the next Quarterly article is due.

Janis Harris

Harris Flower Farm

Janis Harris Harris Flower Farm [email protected]