After years of mostly growing vegetables, creating a cut flower garden is now on my to-do list. They can be a beautiful addition to any home, plus can provide gorgeous bouquets for your family and friends.
\Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, creating a cutting garden can be a fun and rewarding experience.
It’s a great way to bring a little bit of nature indoors and brighten up your home. Fresh flowers are always a great gift as well.
For beginners, the idea of starting a cutting garden can be daunting.
It doesn’t have to be complicated, though. With a little bit of planning and some basic knowledge, anyone can create a beautiful cutting garden.
This article covers the best flowers to grow, how to plan and design your garden and tips for maintaining your plants.
Choosing the Right Flowers
When it comes to creating a cut flower garden, choosing the right flowers is crucial.
You’ll want to consider your growing zone, as well as your garden location. Here are some key factors to consider:
1.1 Annual vs. Perennial Flowers
Annual flowers complete their life cycle in one growing season, while perennial flowers return year after year. There are advantages to both types of flowers.
Annuals tend to have a longer blooming period and offer a wider range of colors and shapes and can provide more flowers.
Perennials require less maintenance and can be a more cost-effective option in the long run.
Flowers That Are Good as Cut Flowers
- Paper Daisies
- Dahlias (although these tubers have to be removed in Zone 3)
1.2 Sunlight and Soil Requirements
Most cut flowers need lots of sunshine. It’s important to choose a spot for your garden that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
You’ll also want to make sure the soil is well-draining and rich in organic matter.
If your soil is lacking in nutrients, consider adding compost or other organic amendments to improve its quality. Taking a soil test is always a good option.
1.3 Flower Colors and Shapes
When selecting flowers for your cut flower garden, consider the colors and shapes that will best suit your needs.
Do you want a garden full of bright, bold hues, or do you prefer a more subtle, pastel palette?
Do you want flowers with large, showy blooms, or do you prefer delicate, dainty blossoms?
Make sure to choose a variety of flowers that will complement each other and provide a range of colors and shapes throughout the growing season.
You will also want to plant a filler plant, like Eucalyptus.
Preparing the Garden
Choosing the Right Location
Before starting a cut flower garden, it is important to choose the right location. Will the flowers receive enough sunlight? And the location should have good drainage to prevent water logging.
Preparing the soil is an essential step in creating a successful cut flower garden.
Start by removing any weeds, rocks, or debris from the area. Then, test the soil to determine its pH level and nutrient content.
If necessary, amend the soil with organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to improve its texture and fertility.
Tools and Equipment
To start a cut flower garden, you will need some basic tools and equipment. These include:
- Gardening gloves
- Garden shears or scissors
- Hand trowel or shovel
- Watering method
Investing in high-quality tools and equipment can make gardening easier and more enjoyable.
For example, a pair of sharp garden shears is your friend and can make clean cuts, reducing the risk of damaging the flowers or spreading disease.
Similarly, a watering can with a fine spray nozzle can help prevent overwatering and ensure the flowers receive the right amount of moisture.
By carefully choosing the location, preparing the soil, and having the right tools and equipment, beginners can create a thriving cut flower garden.
Planting and Caring for Flowers
3.1 Planting Techniques
When planting your cut flower garden, it is important to consider the type of soil, light, and water requirements of each flower.
Some flowers prefer full sun, while others thrive in partial shade. Make sure to read the seed and flower labels for details on each flower’s growing height and width.
For earlier blooms, you might choose to start seeds indoors. This year I’ve started Paper Daisies, Cosmos, Zinnias, and Calendula.
To plant seeds directly in the garden, create a furrow in the soil and sprinkle the seeds evenly.
Cover the seeds with soil and water gently. For seedlings, dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball and gently place the plant in the hole. Fill the hole with soil and water.
3.2 Watering and Fertilizing
Watering is critical to the success of your cut flower garden. Most seeds and seedlings won’t need a lot of water to start with, but as they grow, they will require more moisture.
Keep the soil moist, but don’t overwater. Fertilizing can also be very beneficial for certain types of plants.
3.3 Pest and Disease Control
Pests and diseases can quickly damage or kill your cut flowers. Keep an eye out for common pests like aphids, spider mites, and caterpillars.
If you notice any signs of damage, take action immediately. Being proactive is always easier than waiting until you have an infestation.
There are several natural and organic pest control methods you can use, such as introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs or spraying a solution of water and dish soap.
For diseases, make sure to remove any infected plants and avoid planting the same type of flower in the same spot the following year.
Overall, planting and caring for a cut flower garden requires patience and dedication, but the rewards are well worth it.
Harvesting and Arranging Flowers
Arranging flowers is an art in itself, and can be a fun and creative process. Certain techniques can help you create beautiful bouquets.
4.1 When to Harvest
The best time to harvest flowers is in the morning after the dew has dried, but before the heat of the day.
This is when the flowers are at their freshest and fullest.
Avoid harvesting flowers in the middle of the day when they are most likely to wilt quickly. It’s also important to check the flowers for pests or diseases before harvesting to avoid spreading any issues to the rest of your garden.
4.2 Cutting Techniques
When cutting flowers, use sharp, clean shears or scissors to make a clean cut.
Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle to increase the surface area for water absorption.
Remove any leaves or thorns that will be below the water line in your vase to prevent bacteria growth. Place the cut flowers immediately in a bucket of water to keep them hydrated until you are ready to arrange them.
4.3 Flower Arrangement Tips
When arranging flowers, start with a clean vase filled with fresh water.
Add flower food to the water to help extend the life of your flowers. Cut the stems of your flowers to the desired length and arrange them in the vase, starting with the largest flowers first and filling in with smaller ones.
Add greenery or filler flowers to create a balanced and full arrangement. Change the water every few days and trim the stems to keep your flowers fresh.
With these tips and techniques, beginners can successfully create a cut flower garden. Enjoy the beauty and fragrance of your own creations!