Growing flowers for cutting is easy and rewarding. Annual varieties such as zinnias, sunflowers, cosmos, and celosia make great starting point choices for beginners.
Find a sunny location for your garden and decide on how you will grow each flower, such as dahlias needing staking or sweet peas needing support (fence/trellis/trellis is best), or climbing nasturtiums which require containment with grow-through netting (climbing). To keep flower beds looking pristine, interplant blooms that bloom at different times for best results.
Choose Your Plants
If you want to grow flowers for bouquets or just enjoyment in your home, selecting annuals and perennials with long stems that produce vibrant blooms is key. Select varieties with strong scents as these will dry better; for cutting gardens consider selecting plants with wide rows so that it’s easy to harvest flowers without damaging their petals.
As part of succession planting, it’s also important to take note of when the bloom times of your plants will occur. Doing this will allow you to have fresh blooms throughout the season.
Prepare the Soil
Preparing the soil properly before planting cutting flowers is key to their success. Consider adding organic matter to the soil prior to sowing for improved texture and water holding capacity.
Planting flowers in wide rows allows you to reach all of the plants without accidentally trampling over others or damaging their delicate stems, something which is especially helpful with tall blooms like zinnias and sunflowers.
Find flowers to fit into the theme of your color scheme – anchor, filler and spiller flowers all work well as fillers if scented or boast attractive foliage; some tall blooms or nontraditional varieties could work especially well in containers like vases, milk jugs and old teapots; just be sure to change out the water regularly and use a floral preservative to prolong vase life!
Your cutting garden should be situated in an area with ample sunlight and well-draining soil, and can either be maintained as a separate bed or scattered throughout your existing garden – just take care to avoid creating visible bare spots when harvesting flowers!
Plan your mix of blooms by height, placing emphasis on long-stemmed annuals and perennials with striking foliage (such as forsythia, holly or olive). Add foliage plants with interest such as forsythia, holly or olive to provide background greenery in bouquets.
Since plants don’t all bloom at once, stagger their planting sequence – also known as succession growing – for an uninterrupted supply of fresh blooms. Also consider grouping plants by their cultural needs so as to easily provide water and nutrients as required by each one.
To maintain a thriving cut flower garden, it’s necessary to provide optimal conditions for the plants in it. This requires regular inspections for pests and disease, composting to add essential nutrients, and making sure the soil drains freely.
Water your soil regularly enough to ensure it remains moist but avoid overwatering as excessive wetting of the soil may lead to root rot and wastage of essential nutrients, while insufficient irrigation can cause stress and cause flower wilt.
Planting a cutting garden should be easy to access. Select a sunny location, leaving wide pathways between flowers for you to reach them easily when cutting blooms. Furthermore, using balanced fertilizers as well as mulching regularly with mulch will help maintain soil temperature while decreasing weed growth.
No matter where or how you plant your flowers, following a few basic guidelines will ensure the longest life for them. Choose a location with full sunlight, and ensure your cutting flowers are near water sources – they should be easily accessible when reaching in with buckets of water to water your cutting flowers!
Plant taller flowers such as sunflowers in the back of your cutting garden, medium height perennials or annuals in the middle, and shorter perennials or annuals at the front. Some flowers may require staking; others will benefit from pinching back and deadheading regularly to encourage branching and extend blooming cycles. Group flowers that require similar cultural care together; be sure to read over the backs of seed packets for planting instructions.