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Tips For Buying Cut Flowers From the Farmers Market

5 Questions to Ask When Choosing Farmers Market Flowers

This weekend, our house guests surprised us with this gorgeous mix of anemones and tulips from the farmers market. While many of you may be tempted by farmers market blooms, sometimes it's hard to know exactly which ones to choose. If you're unsure, here are some questions to ask the market seller.

  • "When were the flowers picked?" This way, you can have an idea of how fresh the flowers are. The sooner they were picked, the longer they'll stay fresh in your home.
  • "How far did they travel?" If the flowers had to travel a long way, they will be more likely to suffer from being jostled, moved, and potentially dehydrated in a van or truck. If they did travel quite a distance, ask for information on how they traveled. Were they in water the entire time? Were they wrapped carefully?
  • "How long can they be expected to bloom?" Some flowers look great at the market, but then only last for a day or more before starting to lose their luster. Sometimes it's better to look for blooms that are still closed, since that way they'll look prettier for much longer.
  • "Do they drop petals a lot?" Many smaller-petaled flowers tend to shed like crazy. This may be OK in your house (it's not in mine), but it's better to know what to expect beforehand.
  • "What's your favorite?" Sometimes a seller can alert you to a flower that you'd previously overlooked or weren't aware of. This is the way I've discovered some of my favorite cut flowers. It never hurts to ask!

Do you buy flowers at a farmers market? How do you make your decision?

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Elka-Karl Elka-Karl 6 years
Great tips! Check out these as well:
EricaJane EricaJane 6 years
The best way to keep your flowers fresh longer is to cut the stems at a sharp angle and re-cut every day, and get them back into water within 5 seconds, other wise they begin to take in air through the stem. To avoid bacteria (and smelly water), remove all greenery below the water level. Removing some of the leaves will also direct more of the energy into the bloom itself. If you don't live in an area where there are a lot of nutrients in the water, use flower food. Keep them away from windows and drafts.
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