An ideal cut flower garden starts with finding the right spot. Make sure it gets plenty of sun, while providing easy access for planting, weeding and harvesting your blooms.
Perennial flowers with long blooming seasons make an excellent addition to a cutting garden, but you also want some annuals for variety and to extend your harvest season. Choose varieties with long stems and excellent vase life.
Choose Your Plants
No matter whether it’s your goal to cultivate an entire flower garden or simply cultivate cut flowers alongside your vegetable patch, taking careful note of both space and care considerations is key for growing flowers successfully. Most varieties prefer full sun (at least six to eight hours of direct sun per day) with well-draining soil containing sufficient organic material. You should also account for height staking requirements; especially important when growing annuals like Zinnias and Sunflowers as well as vining flowers such as Sweet Peas and Nasturtiums.
When selecting flowers, pay close attention to their bloom period as you’ll want a steady supply of color throughout summer. Also choose varieties which dry well for use in arrangements at home and bouquets given away; doing this will allow you to select cultivars that give maximum bang for the buck – most seed packets provide this information so read them thoroughly!
Prepare the Soil
As with any planting bed, cutting gardens require sunny locations with rich, well-draining soil. You could make use of an existing perennial or vegetable garden by interspersing cutting flowers between the plants, filling any noticeable gaps and providing fresh blooms from time to time – or you could set aside an area specifically dedicated to cutting flowers that you can harvest as needed.
Consider installing raised beds for easier weeding and watering, which will save time when maintaining a cut flower garden. A little extra work up front could make all the difference when it comes to taking care in maintaining one.
Staggering the bloom times of your flower varieties to facilitate harvesting will ensure an uninterrupted supply of freshly-cut blooms throughout the season and fresh-cut blooms for arrangements. In addition to organizing your garden according to bloom times, consider grouping similar-grown plants together; keeping similar-planted together makes maintenance simpler.
Plant the Seeds
Before planting flowers, be sure to read the back of their seed packets to learn about their growing requirements. Some require full sun while others thrive best under shaded conditions. Next, choose a day when the ground temperature will enable your seeds to flourish without frost being an issue – this initial phase of starting a garden may take time to settle in, but eventually it will pay dividends!
When planning a flower garden, group together the varieties with similar growing needs so you can provide exactly what each variety requires and avoid over or underwatering any one flower type by another.
Consider which plants require support to stay upright as they grow, such as tall annual flowers like zinnias or sunflowers as well as climbing vines such as sweet peas or climbing nasturtiums. Trellis or stakes will make harvesting simpler while cutting down time spent trimming and deadheading.
Harvest the Flowers
Growing a cut flower garden is an excellent idea if you are an enthusiastic gardener looking to gather their own blooms for fresh floral arrangements. Like any garden, cutting flower patches require fertile soil with consistent sunlight exposure, plus added fertilizers to promote bloom production and encourage healthy stems for vase life.
To facilitate picking flowers for arrangements more easily, it’s helpful to plant in long linear beds that provide easy access for planting, weeding and harvesting. Furthermore, group plants according to their cultural requirements such as sun exposure, water needs or fertilizer requirements.
To ensure a steady supply of cut flowers, it’s essential that you deadhead regularly to remove spent blooms. When harvesting blooms with long vase lives and good vase life – choose morning or evening cuts so they do not heat up during the day! When creating arrangements always include anchor flowers (thrillers, fillers and spillers) along with accent blooms such as rose buds or daisy petals for color accents.