Growing your own cut flower garden requires several key considerations. A prime location is essential.
Make your selection easy to access; wide rows provide optimal conditions.
Ideal locations for cut flower gardens include areas receiving full sunlight and close to water sources. While this could mean setting aside separate beds in your landscape for this endeavor, cutting flowers could easily be mixed into vegetable and ornamental gardens as well as adding long linear beds that make accessing them easy.
Plan the bed carefully on paper, noting the bloom cycle and height of each plant. By selecting both perennials and annuals for your bed design project, you can experiment with new colors and textures for bouquets or other design projects.
Keep a bucket of cool, clean water nearby your cutting garden for plunging harvested stems into so they can absorb as much moisture as possible and live longer in vases. Recutting harvested stems at an angle and stripping away lower foliage that could rot in the vase will also prolong their lives in vases. It is best to harvest early morning or late afternoon when temperatures don’t lead to transpiration of water loss resulting from hot afternoon sunlight causing transpiration losses.
As with other flower beds, cut-flower gardens require rich, well-draining soil that allows water to drain away freely from its surface. While direct sunlight is ideal, some types of blooms will still thrive even in partial shade conditions.
Group plants that share similar growing conditions together to make it easier to water, weed and harvest them. For example, dahlias and asters near chrysanthemums or marigolds, cosmos and zinnias can be planted together for easier management.
If possible, allow some of your blooms to set seeds and collect them to sow next season – this way you’ll have free fuel for expanding your flower garden!
To keep your bouquets looking their best, cut flowers early in the morning and immediately place them into a vase of clean and tepid water. Change out this water every few days to prevent bacterial contamination of your vase and extend its life. Adding fragrant herbs like lavender, eucalyptus, or mint to your bouquets adds a special finishing touch!
For optimal garden maintenance of cutting flower gardens, create long linear beds – one metre by three metres is an ideal size – that provide easy access for planting, weeding and picking flowers without stepping on them. A nearby water source – whether a tap or soaker hose – should also be easily available as many cut flowers quickly wilt without proper hydration.
If a gardener has enough space, planting various types of flowers with different bloom times will ensure there will always be fresh, long-lasting blooms throughout the season. Caladiums, Euphorbia and Petunias make good filler plants for arrangements while other perennials with short-stature blooms such as Achillea Delphinium Coreopsis can act as filler flowers in arrangements.
When growing flowers for cut arrangements, be sure to choose varieties with long, sturdy stems and an excellent vase life. Annuals such as zinnias and sunflowers may not last the full season so stagger planting or sow additional seeds later in summer to extend your cutting garden.
Plan a garden layout that offers easy access to your flowers, such as long linear beds. They allow enough room to plant and pick your blooms without trampling on other plants, making for more convenient gardening experiences for beginners. Raised beds may also prove effective.
If you plan on cultivating vining plants such as sweet peas or climbing nasturtiums, they will require either netting or trellises as support structures. Taller annual varieties like certain zinnia and sunflower varieties may need stakes as an additional measure to remain upright as they grow. When purchasing seed catalogs or plant tags for flowers to grow from, be sure to read descriptions closely in order to assess any type of support that they will need as they develop into bloom.