If you enjoy giving beautiful bouquets, a cut flower garden may be just what’s needed to fulfill that need. This type of garden features blooms with long vase life that are easy to grow.
Plan your flower beds so they are easy to water, weed and harvest. For instance, tall annuals like zinnias or sunflowers may need stakes, while vining plants such as climbing nasturtiums require netting for support.
At the core of any cut flower garden lies its location: selecting an area with rich, well-draining soil in full sun that offers ample drainage. If possible, add organic compost or slow-release flower fertilizer to improve soil quality further.
Plan Your Layout. Ensure your flowers are easily accessible for picking, including tall plants such as sunflowers or zinnias placed at the back of the bed and shorter annuals such as cosmos or sweet peas positioned front and center.
Consider whether any plants require additional support, such as climbing nasturtiums or certain varieties of zinnia that require support may need netting or trellises in order to grow tall. Also consider allowing some flowers to set seed as this can help your blooms replenish over time.
Start by amending your soil. Cut flowers need a rich, well-draining soil that has been amended with compost and slow release flower fertilizer before being planted in your garden.
Consider adding a layer of mulch to help retain moisture in the soil and limit weeds, and decide on a layout for your cutting garden, keeping in mind its height and bloom sequence of each plant. An ideal cut flower garden would feature rows that make snipping blooms easy.
Some perennials such as dahlias and delphiniums must be staked or fence-supported while tall annuals, like zinnias and sunflowers, may need a trellis for support. Furthermore, vineing plants like sweet peas and climbing nasturtiums require grow-through netting in order to avoid flopping over as they mature.
Cutting gardens require sunny spots with rich, well-draining soil. When designing the planting layout, it is essential to take each flower’s bloom time and height into account; rows make weeding and picking much simpler; plants should be spaced according to their recommended spacing for healthy growth and to reduce gaps after harvesting.
Regular fertilization of cut flower gardens, particularly during dry summers, is vital to their success. A balanced fertilizer that contains low levels of nitrogen while being rich in phosphorous and potassium would be best. Mulching can also help regulate soil temperature while controlling weeds.
To prolong the lifespan of flowers in a vase, remove any dead or spent blooms as soon as they appear and keep clean scissors at hand to trim stems. It is also helpful to have a bucket with clean water available so you can immediately place cut blooms into it once cut.
As the season advances, cut flowers require regular pruning to stay looking their best. This is especially important for plants with long stems or those which do well out of water (such as lupines, dahlias and cornflowers).
Most perennial flowers bloom once and then fade throughout the year. To extend their blooming period, cut back to ground level in winter or early spring before they begin pushing out new growth. This should extend their blooming period.
Beginning a cutting garden requires starting with long linear beds similar to those you use to grow vegetables, so planting, weeding and harvesting become easier. At least one-metre-wide beds for easy access. For optimal results use no-dig gardening techniques – better for the environment and leading to healthier blooms overall!
Before harvesting your cut flower garden, it’s essential to prepare the site. A well-drained, loose soil will enable plants to stay healthy and productive; adding organic slow release fertilizer in spring can boost existing flowers as well as encourage new blooms.
Seed sowing should take place about six weeks prior to the anticipated last frost date in your region. Annual flowers that need replanting each year, however, should be started indoors before being transplanted outdoors in spring.
When harvesting flowers, take care to harvest in the cooler parts of the day. Bring along a bucket with fresh, cool water for harvesting purposes and use sharp shears with clean blades. Additionally, it might be worthwhile adding floral preservatives to extend their lives further.