No matter if you prefer perennial flowers that return year after year or an assortment of annuals for variety, plan your cutting garden carefully so it can be watered, weeded and harvested without much hassle. All plants require rich, well-draining soil that drains freely while being exposed to sufficient sunlight.
Use only clean gardening tools when cutting flower stems; dirty shears spread bacteria that reduce vase life. Also, prefer snipping flowers that are close to the ground over cutting them directly.
Choose a site with full sun exposure and rich, well-draining soil, as this will encourage full flower bloom. Also keep wind and rain exposure in mind, as tall blooms may be susceptible to breaking or becoming waterlogged and wilted during windy conditions. If you don’t already have a dedicated cutting garden, try dispersing annual and perennial flowers throughout existing beds or planters so you always have flowers ready for bouquets!
Consider whether there is enough sunlight available, since many cut flower varieties need at least six hours of direct sun per day to thrive. Also bear in mind that many annuals benefit from being harvested regularly for optimal growth.
Strive for an eclectic combination of colors, shapes, sizes and textures when it comes to designing eye-catching arrangements. Flowering perennials such as Heuchera, Echinacea, Lilyturfa and Sage will add color and structure to arrangements while flowering shrubs like Heuchera, Echinacea or Lilyturfa add structure too! Don’t forget about foliage either; hosta leaves, Ferns or ornamental grasses add visual interest that makes any arrangement truly interesting!
Soil quality and sun exposure are integral elements of creating an effective cut flower garden. A successful set should have well-draining soil that’s rich with organic compost or manure amendment. A pH level reading can help determine if the soil supports healthy cut flowers.
Lighting should also be carefully considered when planning your garden, since many cutting flowers thrive when placed in direct sunlight. You should also keep accessibility in mind – you want to be able to reach all the flowers without accidentally trampling other plants or damaging them with your knees. Planting beds in wide rows is helpful; similarly placing taller plants towards the back while shorter ones closer to the front may help.
Be mindful of any requirements your plants might have, such as needing staking (dahlias and delphiniums) or needing support such as fencing (sweet peas and climbing nasturtiums). It can be easy to overlook these details when planting your garden; make sure you read descriptions on seed packets or plant tags carefully!
When planning a cutting garden, start by finding an open and sunny spot with well-draining soil. Next, draft out your planting area on paper so as to maximize space utilization while also being able to reach all plants without trampling over others. It is wise to plant in rows as this makes harvesting and weeding much simpler; perennials from annuals should also be distinguished as should those that need support (e.g. dahlias) from those that don’t (such as snapdragons).
Betsy and Cathy advise picking flowers early in the day for maximum freshness, with fresher blooms lasting longer. When picking, bring pails of clean water as you pick, along with clean vases to place the blooms in. Be sure to change out vase water frequently to help prevent bacteria growth in your vase(s), while choosing flower types like sunflowers or rudbeckia that dry quickly such as sundials can extend picking season significantly.
Cut flower gardens don’t need to be highly visible, but should still be accessible and easily managed. Aim to position it in full sunlight with rich, well-draining soil containing several inches of compost or slow release fertilizer before planting in order to maximize water retention and drainage.
Choose plants that bloom throughout the season to provide a steady supply of blooms for bouquets and arrangements, including perennials and annuals that reseed themselves each year, fragrant varieties, as well as plants with eye-catching foliage.
Once you have chosen your flowers, group them according to their cultural needs (sunlight, water and nutrient requirements). This will make it easier for you to provide what they require without accidentally overwatering or under-watering nearby plants that share similar needs. Once planted in wide rows or small plots for easy snipping blooms for indoor arrangements.