Are you thinking about starting a cut flower garden but have no idea where to start? I’ll show you the process I go through when planning my cut flower garden each season.
Enjoying the beauty of a garden in full bloom is as easy as growing your own cut flowers. But it’s essential to plan carefully before getting started to ensure a successful cutting garden.
With the proper steps and tips, you can create a thriving cut flower garden that will give you colorful blooms all season long. I’ll share detailed steps and advice on planning and creating a healthy cut flower garden from seed to bud.
I love the planning process of growing a cut flower garden each year.
I can’t tell you how vital this phase is for gardening efficiency and your sanity! Trust me…your results will be so much more positive if you invest more time in designing and planning your gardening space in the beginning.
Disclosure: I am not a Master Gardener. I’m a self-taught gardener who shares my opinions and what has worked for me in the garden.
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Table of Contents
- 1. Choose a Location for Your Annual Cut Flowers
- 2. Design Your Cut Flower Garden Plot
- 3. Decide Where to Plant Your Seed Starts
- 4. Calculate the Space Needed for Your Flower Seeds
- 5. Decide What Flower Seeds to Order
- Easy to Grow Cut Flowers for the Beginner
Here are the steps in the garden planning process.
1. Choose a Location for Your Annual Cut Flowers
The sunlight, soil, and space needed to grow a fresh-cut garden needs to be evaluated before thinking about moving forward with any other planning for your own cut flower garden.
Evaluate Garden Beds for the Amount of Sunlight Available
When planning a garden bed, choose plants that require similar amounts of light, with some variety for interest, while also avoiding overcrowding which can cause competition among plants for resources like water and nutrients.
Evaluate your garden beds for sunlight availability to create a thriving cut flower garden. Most flowers that I grow in the cutting garden need at least 6 hours of sun a day.
Choose an Area With Healthy Soil
When planning the location of your cutting garden, you’ll want to make sure you have good garden soil. Choose an area with well-drained and healthy soil that is free from any large root systems.
Experts recommend you perform a soil test before planting your seed starts. This will not only give you a better understanding of how your soil will perform but what amendments will need to be added to the ground.
There are soil test options available. You can buy an inexpensive soil test or hire a local garden resource center to test your soil conditions.
SHOP SOIL TESTS AND MONITORS
Many beginning gardeners pass on this step but usually never make the same mistake twice. It is such an important part of the process.
Your flowering garden will thrive when you add organic matter. I add fish mulch to my garden beds every April and mulched leaves every fall to add nutrients to the soil.
2. Design Your Cut Flower Garden Plot
Designing a cut flower garden plot may seem like an intimidating task, but with careful planning and the right steps, it can be easy and fun!
Planning a successful cut flower garden requires knowledge of the steps in the planning process. From selecting your site to choosing plants that will thrive in your climate, there are many important things to consider.
Here are some tips for designing a beautiful and vibrant cut flower garden plot that will bring you enjoyment all season long.
When choosing a garden bed width, make sure you can reach the center when standing on either side of the long sides. Create pathways between beds.
We built 2-8’x 4′ and 2-4’x 4′ raised beds in our flower garden. By adding whiskey barrels and galvanized trough planters around the entire picket fence border, we could plant even more flowers in our garden. Creating 4-ft. pathways was strategic, so we could roll a wheelbarrow between the beds easily.
SHOP GARDEN CONTAINER IDEAS
3. Decide Where to Plant Your Seed Starts
Cut flower gardens are different from regular flower gardens. They are all about producing flowers that can be cut and enjoyed repeatedly. They have a purpose.
I still make an effort to keep the cutting flowers looking as pretty as I can. Here are some things I consider when determining where to plant my seedlings.
I like creating flower beds by color when I can. Softer color palettes are usually separated from brighter ones.
In one garden bed, I plant seedlings that bloom at different times throughout the spring and summer. That way, the beds will always have flowers growing in them, no matter what time of the season it is.
An example would be to plant sweet peas (early summer bloom) and globe amaranth (late summer bloom) together in the same bed. Then when the sweet peas start fading at the end of July for me, the globe amaranth will just be starting to bloom and will take over the bed.
Cosmos and zinnias are always great to place among various flowers as they last for most of the season, at least in my zone, 8b.
Height and Width
I’m a visual person, so I may do things a bit differently than some. Planning the new year’s garden is almost like a puzzle, trying to fit all the pieces in the right spaces. I use graph paper and printouts of the flower varieties I’ve picked for this year’s garden. I lay everything out, looking for possible themes and color palettes.
Keep in mind what the plant’s mature height and width will be. It’s important to keep the taller flowers towards the back of the beds so they won’t shadow the others around them.
I made the mistake of planting very tall sweet peas in the center of the raised bed one year, not realizing that when the afternoon sun hit a certain direction, the flowers on the other side of the sweet peas were completely blocked from the sun.
Staking and Netting
Those plants needing to be staked or netted are usually grown together in one bed so I can corral them. More about corraling coming up in a future blog post.
4. Calculate the Space Needed for Your Flower Seeds
Calculating the space, you have to work with will be an important step in deciding how many flower seed varieties you can grow.
This is where you can get into trouble! Never, ever shop a seed catalog before knowing how much-dedicated garden space you have to work with.
You should consider the number and type of plants when estimating how much room they will take up. To ensure healthy plant growth, each seed should have at least 6-8 inches of space surrounding it. If planting in rows, make sure there are 12-15 inches between them for easy access and maintenance.
Factor in any additional plants necessary to support pollinators such as bees or butterflies. Knowing exactly how much space is available will help you determine which varieties of flowers will work best for your garden. With careful planning and preparation, you can create
You can find how much space is needed to leave between each plant on the back of the seed packet. However, I tend to space the seed starts just a little closer together than recommended for certain varieties that aren’t as bushy or susceptible to mildew.
This gives me a little more room, and I don’t get as many weeds growing in the beds. I DO NOT RECOMMEND this unless you’ve been growing flowers for a while and are familiar with how the flowers will grow.
5. Decide What Flower Seeds to Order
When planning a cut flower garden, an important step is choosing the right varieties of flowers for cutting. There are a wide variety of annuals and perennials that make great cut flowers, so it’s important to choose blooms that will work best for your climate and preferences.
Consider the size, shape, color, and scent of each bloom when selecting varieties for cutting. It’s also helpful to look at how long each flower lasts after being cut from its stem and if they attract beneficial insects or birds to your garden.
Once you’ve chosen your favorite varieties of flowers for cutting, you can start preparing your soil and planting.
I ordered every flower variety I liked during my first year of gardening. Let me tell you, it was so overwhelming. There was a lot of waste. I didn’t have enough containers, space in the greenhouse, space in the garden beds…you get the idea. But gosh darn it, I bought them anyway.
You can see which flower seeds I ordered for
If you’ve had a garden in the past, look back in your journal to see what worked and what opportunities there were.
- Were there too many flowers that looked alike?
- Was there enough overall color, too much of one color, or not enough?
- Did you have flowers blooming throughout the growing season, with some going away and others taking their place?
- Were there enough fillers to incorporate into your flower arrangements, and not all bright and beautiful blooms?
Of course, you will want to stick with the flowers that performed best for you. But you may want to cut a couple of varieties from the list. That way, you can try a couple of new ones. It’s always fun to try something new, don’t you think?
Easy to Grow Cut Flowers for the Beginner
If this is your first time starting a cut flower garden from seed, you may be intimidated by the thought of the entire process. But I’m here to make it easier for you!
Listed below are some of my favorite easy-to-grow flowers. They may require little effort to grow, but they do not lack beauty by any means.
- one of the easiest cut flowers to grow, and that requires minimal maintenance and care
- attracts beneficial insects like butterflies and bees, which helps to promote pollination and a healthy ecosystem
- drought-tolerant and can thrive in dry, hot climates
- disease-resistant, making them an excellent choice for beginning gardeners
- come in a range of colors and sizes.
- attract pollinators
- easy to grow and versatile.
- long blooming from mid-summer through fall
- a natural pest resistant, making them a great choice for organic gardens
- heat-resistant flower
- easy to grow and require minimal care
- provides a great source of food for birds, bees, and other wildlife
- extremely drought-tolerant and can survive in harsh climates
- easy to grow and require minimal maintenance
- excellent cut flowers that can last up to two weeks in a vase
- attract beneficial pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your garden
- easy to grow, making them a great choice for beginner gardeners
- a low-maintenance plant, requiring minimal attention and care
- drought tolerant, and can thrive in a variety of soil types and conditions
- attracts beneficial insects to the garden, such as ladybugs and bees.
- provides beautiful, fragrant blooms that can be cut and used in bouquets or enjoyed in the garden.
- can be used to create a living fence or trellis, providing a beautiful backdrop for other plants.
- seeds can be collected and used for future plantings.
- great source of nitrogen, helping to improve soil fertility.
- attractive and low-maintenance plants, making them ideal for any level of gardening experience
- easy to propagate and can be grown from seeds or cuttings
- drought-tolerant, and can survive in many soil types
- attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden
- blooms last a long time and can be cut and used in flower arrangements
- can be used as edible flowers in salads or as a garnish
- come in a variety of colors and sizes, allowing you to customize your garden or outdoor space
Creating a beautiful cut flower garden can be challenging, but it can be done beautifully with the proper steps and a thorough planning process.
The cut flower garden planning process involves understanding your soil type, selecting the right flowers for cutting, optimally planting them to ensure good growth and blooming potential, and providing ongoing care throughout the season.
I hope you were able to take away a few ideas for planning your cut flower garden. I look forward to hearing your thoughts or ideas in the comments below.
Until next time,
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