Grow a cutting garden
It’s always lovely to see flowers blooming in the garden, but often hard to cut them bring them indoor. That’s a good reason for creating a cutting garden. Find an out of the way sunny spot in your yard, that guests wont notice, for plants that are grown to be cut.
This will be your own private source of bouquet to brighten your indoor spaces. Even if you don’t think that you have any space left for a new garden, how about dedicating a few rows in the vegetable garden to flowers. That’s like a double blessing. You get flowers to cut and the flowers will attract more pollinators and for pest control.
Preparing The Site
Just because you’ll be cutting these flowers regularly doesn’t mean you can skimp on the soil. These flowers need every advantage they can get, to recover from constant cutting.
Make sure the area is weed-free. You don’t want your plants to compete with weeds for nutrients and water.
Your cutting flowers will need a soil that is rich in organic matter to improve water retention and drainage. Work in several inches of compost or leaf mold, before planting.
You may also incorporate a dose of a balanced, slow acting, granular, organic fertilizer at the start of planting. This plus a fresh dose at fresh compost, is usually enough to keep the plants healthy growing through the year.
If you notice the flowers are getting less, you can give them a bit of liquid fertilizer.
Planning Your Cutting Garden Layout Design
Ease of access is very important in a cutting garden. Wide rows are the traditional approach you wont have to reach far to cut stems.
Create paths between them that are wide enough to move in and work. You’ll will be carrying a bucket of water to hold your flowers, so you need to make enough to move around.
Know what growing conditions are for each plant you choose, then group those with similar needs together. That way you will give them all exactly what they need with minimal effort. It will also prevent you from over or under watering plants that are growing near plants with different likes and dislikes.
Once you have your plants grouped by their cultural needs, sort them out again by their mature heights. You don’t want shorter plants to be engulfed by the taller ones. They wont get enough sunshine and it will be difficult to reach them for cutting.
Sequence Of Bloom
Plants don’t all bloom at the same time. Think about laying out your plants in the order they are expected to bloom.
Don’t last an entire season. Make sure you have extra seeds, so you can replant when one batch starts to fade. If a group of plant is dying, pull them out, freshen the soil with compost, and plant something news.
Even in a cutting garden mulch is necessary. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You can mulch with shredded leaves or even sheets of wet newspaper. No one is going to see it. The mulch is to stop weeds from moving in. the last thing you want is to have another garden to weed.
Remember that mulch often needs to be replenished. If your mulch decomposes to less than one inch of covering, it’s time for you to top it up with some fresh mulch.
The most important thing you can do is keep cutting. The more you cut, the more the plants will set new flowers. Isn’t that great?
Otherwise maintenance will be like any other flower border.
Keep an eye out for pests and disease and remove affected plants before the problems have a chance to spread.
Make sure your plants, get water at least once a week, more it it’s the dry hot season.
Suggestions Of Plants To Inspire You.
I love flowers with long lasting vase life that stay fresh for weeks in the floral arrangement and the list is quite long. Some of the examples are : hybrid roses, anthuriums, gingers, costuses, carnations, heliconias, cockscombs, dahlias, zinnias, hydrangea, ageratums, dwarf sunflowers, onctdium, protea, alpinias, kniphofia(red hot poker), lobelia, hibiscus, canna, peace lilies (white sails, white anthurium), marigold. The list is long and filled with varieties; enough for you to choose plants to grow your own florist shop in your garden this year.