Planting a cut flower garden is an effortless and rewarding way to add beauty and variety to any outdoor space, be it your home, gift bouquets or event centerpiece. Just ensure it gets plenty of sun and good soil before making this investment!
Since many flower varieties prefer full sun, and since cutting flowers are typically harvested early or late morning/evening, this type of garden should ideally be placed near an available water source.
Start with Quality Seeds and Plant Starts
No matter where you plant your cut flowers, most varieties thrive when grown in rich, well-draining soil and full sunlight. Before planting, amend the soil with compost or slow release flower fertilizer as necessary.
Some annuals and perennials require stakes or supports for tall varieties, while others need regular pruning or pinching to extend bloom time and keep plants tidy. To prevent diseases in your garden, check your plants frequently to detect spent flowers or damaged foliage – deadheading any spent flowers is also essential to maintain overall plant health.
When cutting flowers, do it early morning or late evening when they are at their peak. Use sharp and clean garden shears or pruners, along with a bucket of clean water, so you can immediately plunge the freshly-cut blooms into it to rehydrate them before arranging them in arrangements. Adding floral preservative to this water may extend their longevity further.
Plan Your Garden
Cut flower gardens require sunny locations with rich, well-draining soil. As many flowers only thrive in specific zones, it’s crucial that their requirements are researched thoroughly.
Cutting gardens can be created as separate sections or integrated into existing borders. When placing flowers into an already established garden, try to select an area where harvesting won’t alter its overall aesthetics.
For easier watering, weeding, and picking, group together flowers of similar types in blocks. For instance, plant perennials together and annuals near each other. This will eliminate having to carry around a heavy hose or perform awkward gardening yoga in order to reach all your plants. You might also consider grouping flowers that need staking (such as Dahlias and Delphiniums) or those which benefit from netting (sweet peas and snapdragons) together so as to save both time and frustration.
Choose the Right Soil
Success of a cut flower garden relies on three components: quality flowers, the ideal soil and amount of water used in maintenance. An ideal location is one where cutting and arranging can take place easily without depleting beds and borders; dedicated areas allow gardeners to preserve fresh blooms for vase arrangements while keeping beds depleted of blooms.
Long-stemmed annuals and perennials make excellent cut flowers, yet often only bloom for a limited period. Perennials like peonies, lupines and iris often only bloom once during early summer and once their petals fade they may never rebloom again until next season arrives.
Bulb flowers such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths offer vibrant spring blooms in cut flower gardens while being excellent candidates for forcing. Their long lasting arrangements and even annual planting options make these bulbs popular choices. When creating bouquets out of them, add filler flowers like zinnias and sweet peas as fillers along with foliage plants like artemisia or coleus for an eye-catching finish.
An organic mulch will not only help your soil retain moisture, but can also reduce weeds. When choosing mulch for your garden, look for decomposed materials like wood chips or straw that have low chemical emissions – these will reduce chemical exposure in your garden and minimize waste management costs.
Consider whether you want your garden to focus solely on perennials and shrubs with long-lived cut flowers, or add annuals for more vibrant color palette. If opting for annuals as part of the mix, select varieties which can easily grow from seeds or transplants (like zinnias and sunflowers).
Plan your cutting flower garden layout for ease of watering, weeding and picking. Plant blocks of similar plants in order to facilitate quick picking; for instance separating those who require staked or trellis support from those needing fencing (dahlias and delphiniums) as well as those benefitting from grow-through netting (sweet peas and climbing nasturtiums). Arrange flowers according to height so you can quickly select blooms for fresh bouquets.