AmericanFarm.com

Cut flower tour set Aug. 6

What better thing is there to do in August than to visit other people’s cut flower operations? You can do that on the Cut Flower Tour to be held Aug. 6 by University of Maryland Extension. For the first time M and M Plants of Dickerson, Md., will “open its doors” for other cut flower growers to come and see how they produce quality cut stems for their farm markets.  Nestled in the foothills of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Upper Montgomery County, M and M Plants uses both field and high tunnel production to produce its cut flowers.
Owners Madgie and Mark McGaughan sell cut flowers, bedding plants, and vegetable starts mainly at farmers markets. They provide flowers for weddings and other events in season. Houseplants are a year-round business while the cut flowers and bedding plants are seasonal.
Registration and check-in begin at 8:30 a.m. at M and M Plants. The tour starts at 9 a.m.
Lunch and an indoor talk will be at the Montgomery County Extension office in Derwood, Md. Be sure to register in advance to ensure enough food for lunch.
Talks will include “What Insects Are Stalking Your Cut Flowers in 2012?” by Stanton Gill, Central Maryland Research and Education Center, University of Maryland Extension and “Deadly Diseases of Cut Flowers” by Dave Clement, Home and Garden Information Center, University of Maryland Extension; and a report on ASCFG New Variety Trials by Growers.
Madgie McGaughan and Leon and Carol Carrier of Plantmasters Inc. will highlight some of the varieties that are a part of the Association of Specialty Cut Flowers Growers (ASCFG) grower trials.  They will let you know what they think worked and what didn’t.
Ron Peterman also will highlight some of his new and outstanding cut flowers that he is growing at his operation, Long Season Static Farm.
The tour will continue at Dave Dowling’s Farmhouse Flowers and Plants  in Brookeville, Md.
Chuck Schuster of the Montgomery County Office, University of Maryland Extension, will give a brief report on weed control there.
Farmhouse Flowers is always cutting edge with their production methods and new cultivars, organizers said. Dowling will share his experiences and insights with cut flower production.
Cost of the tour $30 after July 30.. For a brochure with complete registration information and directions, go to www.ipmnet.umd.edu or call (301) 596-9413.