An ideal garden for cut flower cultivation needs full sun and soil with good drainage, such as raised beds. Raising beds make planting, weeding and picking flowers without damaging them easier.
Grow the kinds of flowers that you enjoy using in bouquet arrangements, adding fillers for color, texture and height. Follow a “thriller, filler, spiller” strategy for creating balanced bouquets.
Cutting gardens require sunny locations with well-draining soils that receive full sunlight throughout the day. Most cut flowers thrive under full sunlight; consult seed packets or search online to find out which conditions they prefer for growth.
Group plants with similar requirements (for instance those needing full sun or being heat tolerant) to make watering them easier without accidentally overwatering or underwatering other nearby plants. This will enable you to give each the attention it needs without accidentally over or underwatering other nearby plants.
Create an easily accessible bed, with wide paths suitable for moving around and picking flowers. A width of three feet should suffice; this way you don’t need to reach too far when harvesting is time.
An effective cutting flower garden requires an assortment of annuals and perennials that bloom all summer and fall, including fillers that add color and texture. To facilitate harvesting more easily, plant in wide rows so you can reach to cut stems for bouquets easily.
Before planting, it is a good practice to test and amend the soil with compost or slow-release fertilizer. Mulching can also help regulate temperature while suppressing weed growth.
When starting from seeds, plant them indoors one month prior to the expected last frost date. Select high-quality seeds as this will ensure your plants thrive in your garden; be sure to order early, as many popular varieties sell out quickly!
Cut flower gardening can be an immensely fulfilling hobby for numerous reasons. Not only is the beautiful floral display an aesthetic pleasure, but they provide food and shelter to pollinators like butterflies, honeybees and other pollinators as well as providing natural habitats for other insects such as assassin bugs, praying mantises and spiders.
Soil health is foundational to any successful cutting garden. Work in organic matter such as compost at least two weeks prior to planting and mulch the beds to manage temperature and moisture as well as suppress weed growth.
To extend your blooming season, mix annual and perennial flowers such as larkspur, aquilegias, chrysanthemums, dahlias and peonies together. A balanced fertilizer should also be provided after stem formation begins; watering early morning helps minimize evaporation loss while simultaneously relieving stress on plants.
As soon as your blooms emerge, use clean garden shears to prune them regularly and remove any diseased or blemished leaves or stems. Cut flowers early morning or evening to avoid wilting; make sure you use clean scissors in order to avoid spreading bacteria; cut flower stems at an angled position for increased surface area and faster water uptake.
For an easier cutting garden management, group plants with similar growing conditions together. This will enable you to provide them with care with reduced effort – for instance by planting perennials and annuals that need staking (such as dahlias) or trellising (sweet peas). Also group tall and short plants together so smaller ones won’t become overwhelmed by larger ones.
To achieve longer-lasting cut flowers, harvest them early morning when their soil moisture content is at its peak. When harvesting cut flowers for long-lasting arrangements, be sure to bring a bucket or vase filled with clean water and sharp tools (sharp shears or gardening gloves are ideal) along with you when cutting flowers. Additionally, consider keeping a container of flower preservative on hand so as to add as soon as each cut has been made.
Some flowers require staking or support, so be sure to plan for this ahead of time and space them appropriately. Also remember to set aside time in your routine for deadheading and pinching (removing flowers that have gone to seed to allow more energy on producing new blooms), which helps prevent disease transmission as well as regularly replacing vase water so bacteria doesn’t build up and clog their stems).