Growing a cut flower garden is simple and rewarding. Simply select the appropriate blooms, create bouquets, garlands or wreaths with them, and decorate your home to look its finest!
First and foremost, choosing an ideal location for your cutting garden is key to its success. Most flowers thrive best under full sunlight; however, some varieties can grow well even in partial shade conditions. You should also think carefully about access – how easily you can reach all the plants within its rows.
If you have access to direct sunlight, consider creating a cut flower garden. Many blooms require at least 6-8 hours of direct sun per day for proper development, and it would benefit immensely from growing in a cut flower bed.
Choose a spot with well-draining soil; clay or sandy soils do not promote cutting flower growth as water can pool and cause them to wilt more rapidly. Before planting, enrich the soil with compost or slow-release fertilizer for optimal cutting flower growth.
Planting a cut flower garden in existing perennial beds or creating dedicated rows is easy. Be sure to stagger bloom times, so that you have fresh blooms throughout the summer. Additionally, consider which plants require support (dahlias or delphiniums) or staking (sweet peas), so plan accordingly.
Planning a cut flower garden begins by choosing an area with at least six hours of direct sunlight each day and selecting soil rich in organic matter and offering adequate drainage. Many annual and perennial flowers can be grown for cutting; however, to maximize vase life consider cultivars such as cosmos, Phlox and Snapdragons found both seed catalogs and local nurseries.
Plan your planting carefully by spacing seeds or plants according to their mature height and width, planting on grids rather than rows for maximum productivity. Harvest early morning when stems are at their most hydrated – then immerse the cut stems in a bucket of cool, clean water mixed with flower preservative until you’re ready to arrange them!
Like any garden, cutting flower beds require regular watering and weeding. Add organic matter such as leaf mold or compost before planting to increase soil water retention and drainage.
Harvest flower stems early in the morning when their moisture content is highest, using sharp scissors to cut angled cuts near leaf nodes or buds. Store these cuts in cool water in a bucket until you are ready to arrange them into arrangements.
Plant or sow a combination of perennial flowers, annuals and spring bulbs that bloom at various times throughout the summer and fall to guarantee an ongoing supply of fresh blooms. Make sure to include long stemmed blooms as bouquet fillers.
An effective perennial and annual landscape includes planting a mixture of perennials and annuals that provide cut flowers throughout the season, such as full-flowering varieties of phlox, roses (including Flower Carpet(r) roses and heirloom varieties), asters, zinnias, rudbeckias, dahlias, hydrangeas, snapdragons, tulips, and daffodils – especially varieties with their full flowering capabilities like Dahlias; group them together by similar cultural needs e.g. those that require staking (such as Dahlias), grow through netting (sweet peas); be sure to include filler flowers such as baby’s breath or coral bells for foliage plants such as ivy as well!
Make sure your cutting garden is in an easily accessible area so maintenance and harvesting is as straightforward as possible. Stagger plantings of each variety according to its expected bloom times for maximum harvest frequency throughout the season. Use companion plants like marigolds and herbs to deter pests like aphids and deer, or crop rotation to break up insect life cycles and make harvesting more predictable.
When envisioning a cut flower garden, your thoughts might drift towards rows of tulips or daffodils or beds of rose bushes – but there are so many more flowers and plants you could incorporate in such as herbaceous annuals and biennials, perennials as well as woody shrubs, vines, and branches!
Planning cutting gardens requires careful thought. Consider bloom cycles and heights when creating an engaging mix, then when planting, stagger the tallest in back and shortest up front to maintain accessibility for cutting plants.
Deadheading (removing dead or dying flowers), also known as deadheading, will help your plants produce more blooms with bigger and bigger blooms. An ideal time and place for this is early in the morning or at sunset.