Watching flowers bloom in the outdoors can make you feel reluctant to cut them. The solution? Find an out-of-the-way sunny spot in your yard and fill it with plants that are grown to be cut, or dedicate a few rows in your vegetable garden to flowers. Here are a few tips on how to create your own cutting garden.
Prepare the Site
Flowers for a cutting garden need plenty of soil to enable them to recover from regular snipping. Make sure the bed is weed-free and lay in a layer of organic matter (compost or leaf mold are ideal).
Combine this with slow-acting, granular organic fertilizer for best results, and replenish with a liquid fertilizer if you notice a slow-down in blooming during the season.
Planning and Maintenance
Make sure you plan for wide rows and ease of access. You need to be able to move easily through the garden space while cutting stems and carrying a bucket for watering.
Group plants with similar water needs and growing requirements, and subdivide these plant “cultures” by their mature heights, and as far as possible organize them by the sequence they're expected to bloom. This ensures plants won't get over-watered or engulfed by taller plants.
Make sure you have mulch in the garden to prevent any intrusion by weeds. Be ready to replant annuals, which often don't last an entire season. Water on at least a weekly basis and remove any plants afflicted by pests or disease as soon as you spot them.
Choosing What to Plant
The first commandment is to grow what you love. Annuals are the most common choice, but perennial cutting gardens are possible, too. Consider flowers that dry well for extending the life of arrangements.
Filler plants like coral bells and plants with attractive foliage like artemisia are useful for aesthetics.