Farming a cut flower garden is an easy and effective way to ensure you always have fresh blooms for creative projects throughout the season. Pick flowers that bloom at different times so your supply remains plentiful.
Determine the recommended spacing guidelines from plant and seed packets, and plant in wide rows or small plots with easy harvesting in mind. Keep in mind that some plants need support or staking; plant them near something they can lean against for stability.
Blooms are a wonderful way to bring the outdoors in, making a wonderful focal point in any room. Plus they make great presents! But buying flowers can be expensive; growing your own bouquets may be a more economical alternative.
Location is one of the primary considerations when planning a cutting garden. Most flowers require plenty of direct sunlight in order to thrive, so consult the label or descriptions of each plant to ascertain how much sun exposure they require.
Tall annual flowers like zinnias and sunflowers may require additional support or staking; therefore, these plants should be planted near the back of your cutting garden where stakes can easily be added when necessary.
Cut flower gardens require soil that is rich and well-draining. Testing the soil regularly and amending as necessary are both recommended.
Determine the bloom times of each of your mix’s plants and devise a succession planting plan so that there are flowers available for cutting all season long – this will be particularly crucial if selecting perennial bloomers such as peonies, lupines and iris that only bloom once.
As part of your planting plan, group plants according to their cultural needs for optimal conditions – sun exposure, soil conditions and water requirements. This will enable you to give each plant the ideal conditions needed for its own success and avoid shorter flowers being overshadowed by larger ones – this makes reaching flowers easier when cutting arrangements are underway as well as when cutting vases are full.
Cut flowers require much more water than vegetables for optimal growth and blooming, such as dahlias or delphiniums, while pinching (deadheading) to increase fuller flowers with straight stems and fuller blooms. Some varieties require protection from wind or rain such as sweet peas or snapdragons.
Locate your cutting garden somewhere easily accessible. To make planting, weeding, and harvesting easier, design long linear rows with wide garden paths so you can reach all flowers without stepping on them. A three foot-wide bed should provide ample room to move about quickly while its larger growing space means less time spent weeding!
Growing cut flowers to give away as gifts is an extremely satisfying hobby. Not only is it more sustainable than purchasing blooms from grocery stores, but growing cut flowers also saves borders or beds from depletion.
Louise Curley, an Amateur Gardening magazine garden expert suggests selecting flowering plants that produce more as you pick them to extend the harvesting season. Group perennials and annuals with similar growth requirements together so it is easier to give each one what it needs, she advises.
Make sure your cutting garden is situated in an area receiving full sun and easily accessible for planting, weeding and harvesting purposes. Long linear beds (one metre wide) work best because they allow easy navigation across. Adding organic matter regularly will enhance soil health while helping your plants retain moisture more effectively.
An organized cut flower garden provides an endless supply of blooms for home use, gifts and side hustle arrangements. But to keep these beautiful blooms healthy and long-lived requires proper conditions, cutting technique and knowledge of their care.
To maximize a plant’s vase life, keep pruning shears clean and trim stems as soon as they open (rather than waiting until they fade). Rehydrate cut flowers in water with floral preservative to extend their beauty.
Your cut flower garden should be planned with easy access for weeding, watering and harvesting in mind. Arrange perennials and annuals by height; tall plants towards the back of beds; medium-sized in the center; short stature flowers near front. Keep in mind that some plants, like climbing nasturtiums and sunflowers will require support such as staking.