Fresh-cut bouquets bring bright pops of color into indoor spaces but can be expensive to acquire regularly. Planting a cutting garden in your yard offers an economical and eco-friendly solution while simultaneously supporting pollinators species like bees.
Choose a sunny location with rich, well-draining soil for the beds. For easier harvesting, create long linear beds rather than rows – they will be easier to work in when harvest time arrives!
Choose the Right Plants
Cut flower gardens aim to produce blooms with long vase life (meaning their petals last an appropriate period when placed in an arrangement), so to achieve this it’s essential that plants with plenty of blooms, strong stems and attractive foliage are included.
Consider placing your cutting flower patch in an area with rich, well-draining soil that features no-dig planting beds; this method promotes improved soil health while producing happier and healthier blooms.
As you design the layout for your garden, keep in mind that most cut flowers require easy access for picking. Therefore, it is best to arrange them in wide rows rather than thick beds for this reason and leave plenty of garden paths between beds for water buckets to travel easily in and out. Furthermore, use clean tools when cutting flowers so you do not spread bacteria that causes quicker rot; and for cut stems use lukewarm water as it allows more efficient absorption by the stems.
Plan Your Garden
Setting up a cut flower garden is straightforward and you can start small. All that is required for success is access to at least six-8 hours of sun daily in either your garden or container space.
Select flowers with long vase life that thrive in your region, as well as those that offer pleasing fragrances or can easily be dried for projects such as wreaths and arrangements.
Plan and allocate space for a cut flower garden by assessing your growing zone and space availability, then create a flower bed specifically for that purpose. Make sure the planting area receives plenty of sun exposure, drainage is adequate and bloom cycles and maturity heights of plants are considered when creating an effective mix.
Be sure to group plants with similar growing needs together – for instance perennials and annuals needing the same soil type – in order to ensure they all receive all the nutrition they require without competing against one another for resources. This will ensure they get exactly what they require without straining to thrive!
Prepare the Soil
Soil quality and depth is of utmost importance when cultivating cut flowers, so if your yard doesn’t already feature raised garden beds consider installing some as this provides greater control of soil type and health which helps promote more robust plant growth and ensure more robust seedlings.
Your planting site should receive sufficient sunlight. Most perennial flowers used for cutting require full sun in order to flourish. To determine this information, check your local gardening guide or look at its zoning ordinances.
Make sure that some of the flowers in your cutting garden will require support or staking; therefore, plant them near each other or in a location where adding stakes is easy. Long-stemmed annuals or bulbs could serve as filler plants in bouquets while winter arrangements could benefit from planting some dry-growing varieties as well.
Cut flower gardens can take the form of separate beds or mixed into existing perennial and vegetable plots, and should preferably be situated near water sources for easier harvesting of blooms.
If planting from seeds, read carefully through your seed catalog descriptions and note whether or not each flower grows quickly or slowly and the conditions they prefer. This will help you decide which ones should go in first.
Set your planting schedule according to each flower’s growth period, starting with fast-growers such as zinnias or cosmos 8-10 weeks prior to the last frost date. Filler plants such as caladiums, euphorbia or petunias also work great for creating cutting gardens as they add texture and color.
Garden paths provide easy weeding and picking. Make sure all flowers can be reached without having to crouch or kneel when picking. One last point: be sure to use only clean knife when cutting stems as dirty tools spread bacteria that rot blooms faster. Rehydrate newly cut blooms by submerging them in warm water as soon as you cut them.