A bouquet of flowers is a wonderful way to freshen up any room and make it feel warm and inviting. But don’t just take our word for it: The University of North Florida partnered with The Society of American Florists to conduct a study revealing that having fresh flowers around can reduce stress levels! If you love flowers and can find a little extra space in your yard or garden, starting a cut flower garden of your own can be a fun summer project.
Preparing Your Garden
Design your cut flower garden for easy access. Not only will you be harvesting flowers throughout the season, you’ll also need space to weed and deadhead plants (removing old blooms). The easiest way to provide access is to plant flowers in rows, which are efficient for harvesting and maintenance.
Selecting the right site for a cut flower garden is just as important as it is for a vegetable patch. Most cut flower varieties do best in a sunny space that has rich, well-drained soil. Add compost before planting, which will help retain moisture and provide nutrients as they break down.
Depending upon the flowers you choose to grow, you may need to include stakes, a trellis, or some lattice in your garden bed to help keep taller flowers upright. These should be put in place before planting so that your flowers will grow up through them and you don’t have to try to place them in and among tender flower stems.
Choose varieties for your cutting garden that have long, strong stems that will last well in a vase. Here are our favorite easy to grow options:
- Sweet peas
You will also want to consider when flowers will bloom. Choose flowers with different bloom times to ensure you have a steady supply of flowers throughout the summer.
Put some thought into the color of the flowers that will be blooming at the same time and how well they’ll complement each other in an arrangement.
Tips to Encourage Production
- If possible, use mulch like straw, leaves, or shredded newspaper to help inhibit weed growth and retain moisture.
- Plant your garden in blocks of the same variety. This way, if you have early season varieties that stop blooming during the summer, you can till that bed or section of your garden and replant it with another quick to bloom variety to make the most of your space.
- Keep your garden well maintained. Watch for pests and diseases and remove affected plants before the problem spreads. Keep flowers deadheaded to encourage repeat blooming. Weed often to eliminate competition for water, food, and sunlight.
- During peak blooming, you can give your plants a little boost by watering with a liquid organic fertilizer.
By following these tips you can easily grow a cut flower garden that will provide you with plenty of bouquets to enjoy indoors and to give away to friends and family. It’s a great project for kids, too. Enjoy!
For more information come into one of our Homestead Garden locations to speak with an expert!