On The Garden Path: Flower Farming

How to plan a cutting garden.

| August 2008

  • 3-dahlia.jpg

  • 4-dahlia-lilac.jpg
    THE BEAUTY OF FLOWERS: The soft-lilac petals of this dahlia (top) in the author's garden in Perryville, Mo., contrast brilliantly with the orange center. Pale-yellow dahlias (above), like these at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, make a lovely arrangement when picked and placed in a simple vase.
  • 5-sunflower.jpg
    PERFECT PETALS FOR VASES: Sunflowers (top), like this one growing in the author's garden, are great for vases because of their brilliant color and large blooms. Enormous shaggy heads of dahlia­ 'Café au Lait' (above), also make great bouquets for the house.
  • 2-dahlia-cafe-au-latte.jpg


  • 3-dahlia.jpg
  • 4-dahlia-lilac.jpg
  • 5-sunflower.jpg
  • 2-dahlia-cafe-au-latte.jpg

What could be nicer than fresh-cut flowers for the house? A bouquet of flowers enlivens a room and brings the garden inside. However, while many gardeners enjoy cutting and arranging flowers for the house, they hate to take blossoms away from their gardens. They're afraid to pick the flowers, because they're afraid there won't be any left in the garden.

The best solution to this problem is to plant flowers especially for cutting. Set aside a garden area, preferably one that's not in constant view, in which to grow blossoms for picking and bringing inside the house. Here, you will plant flowers chosen for their performance in the vase.

Planning your garden

A cutting garden doesn't have to be large. A 10-foot by 10-foot area planted with heavily blooming annuals will provide enough flower blossoms to assemble many bouquets. You might want to set aside a small area near your vegetable garden for growing cut flowers. If you don't have room for a separate cutting garden, simply plant a row or two of flowers for cutting amid your vegetables.



Most flowers suitable for cutting prefer full sun, so choose a sunny, well-drained area. Prepare the soil as you would any new garden bed, adding compost to improve the soil's nutrient levels. Eliminate all peren­­nial weeds and try to keep annual weeds to a minimum. If you have problems with animals that roam the neighborhood, a fence might be necessary. 

Although you won't be overly concerned with the appearance of the cutting garden, it's best to try to plant it in an orderly manner. For example, even if you're into a relaxed style of planting in the rest of your garden, it's a good idea to plant the cutting garden in rows. This will make weeding much easier, and you won't forget where the dahlias­ are supposed to come up. 






Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February 16-17, 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE







Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds