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Tips for Growing a Cutting Garden

Creating a Cutting Garden of Your Dreams

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things is walking out into the garden and snipping a few blooms to create a beautiful bouquet for my home. There’s something so satisfying about being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor in such a tangible way. That’s why I’m a huge advocate for having a dedicated cutting garden – a space set aside just for growing flowers to cut and arrange.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I really dove into creating my own cutting garden. I had been inspired by the gorgeous flower farms I’d seen online, like Floret Flower Farm, and I was determined to recreate that magic in my own backyard. Let me tell you, it has been such a rewarding journey!

If you’re thinking of starting a cutting garden of your own, I’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to make it a success. From planning the perfect layout to choosing the best flower varieties, I’m going to walk you through everything step-by-step. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be well on your way to having a cutting garden that’s the envy of the neighborhood.

Choosing the Perfect Spot

The first and most crucial step in creating a cutting garden is selecting the right location. These flowers need plenty of sunshine – at least 6 hours per day, but the more the better. Take a look around your yard and identify any spots that get full sun exposure throughout the day.

It’s also important to consider factors like proximity to your home and accessibility. You’ll want your cutting garden to be somewhere you can easily access, so you can quickly pop out and gather fresh blooms whenever inspiration strikes. Personally, I situated mine right next to my main veggie garden, so I can tend to both areas at the same time.

Another consideration is protecting your plants from pesky critters. I opted for raised garden beds for my cutting garden, which allowed me to line the bottoms with chicken wire to keep out bunnies, woodchucks, and other garden raiders. If you’re planning to grow your flowers directly in the ground, you may want to think about fencing or other deterrents.

Once you’ve identified the perfect sunny spot, it’s time to start thinking about the layout and design. I knew I wanted a more formal, structured look for my cutting garden, so I laid it out in neat rows with some trellises and obelisks for my vining flowers to climb. But you can absolutely get creative and go for a more whimsical, cottage-style look if that’s more your vibe.

Choosing the Right Flowers

Now comes the truly fun part – selecting the flowers you want to grow! When it comes to a cutting garden, you’ll want to choose a mix of annuals and perennials that bloom at different times throughout the season. This will ensure you have a steady supply of fresh flowers to harvest all summer long.

Some of my personal favorites for a cutting garden include zinnias, dahlias, snapdragons, celosia, and cosmos. I also love incorporating filler flowers like amara
nth, strawflowers, and dusty miller. These add wonderful texture and interest to bouquets.

When you’re browsing seed catalogs and garden center offerings, look for varieties with long, sturdy stems that are well-suited for cutting. You’ll also want to pay attention to bloom times – staggering your plantings so you have a continuous harvest is key.

I started many of my flowers from seed indoors, which gave me a head start on the growing season. But there are also plenty of options you can direct sow right in the garden. Just be sure to check the planting instructions on the seed packets to know which approach to take.

One of the best things about having a cutting garden is getting to experiment with different flowers each year. I’m always trying new-to-me varieties and mixing things up. It’s so much fun to see what performs well and what new favorites I uncover.

Preparing the Soil

Once you’ve got your flower lineup squared away, it’s time to make sure you’ve got the perfect growing medium for them to thrive in. Healthy, nutrient-rich soil is essential for a bountiful cutting garden.

I opted for raised garden beds for my cutting garden, which allowed me to really customize the soil. I started with a blend of compost, bagged garden soil, and peat moss to create a light, airy texture. I also worked in some organic fertilizer made specifically for flowers.

If you’re growing your cutting garden directly in the ground, you’ll want to do some soil preparation as well. Amend the existing soil with plenty of compost and well-rotted manure to give your plants a nutrient-dense foundation. You may also want to consider a soil test to see if you need to adjust the pH level.

Proper soil preparation is one of the most important steps in setting up a successful cutting garden. Take the time to get that base right, and you’ll be rewarded with lush, healthy plants that produce an abundance of high-quality blooms.

Caring for Your Cutting Garden

Once your cutting garden is planted, the real work begins! But don’t worry, with the right care and attention, those flowers will thrive.

Watering is key – aim to keep the soil consistently moist, but not soggy. I like to give my garden a deep soak a couple times a week, rather than light, frequent waterings. This encourages the roots to grow deep and strong.

Fertilizing is also important, especially for those heavy-feeding annuals. I use an organic flower-specific fertilizer every few weeks to make sure my plants have all the nutrients they need. Just be sure to follow the application instructions on the package.

Regular deadheading and pruning will also help maximize your flower production. As blooms fade, snip them off to encourage more buds to form. And for plants like dahlias and snapdragons, I give them a little trim here and there to promote branching and additional flower stems.

One thing I learned the hard way – you have to be vigilant about pest control in a cutting garden. Those lush, juicy flowers are like a magnet for all sorts of critters. I had a major vole problem one year that did a number on my dahlias. Moral of the story? Get that chicken wire in place from the start, and keep an eye out for any unwanted guests.

Harvesting and Arranging

Of course, the most rewarding part of having a cutting garden is getting to harvest all those gorgeous blooms. I love the ritual of heading out to the garden with my trusty snippers and gathering the perfect flowers for an arrangement.

When cutting, be sure to use clean, sharp tools and snip the stems at an angle. This helps them last longer in the vase. I also like to cut my flowers in the morning, when they’re most hydrated. Just place them in a bucket of water as you go.

As for arranging, the options are truly endless. I love experimenting with different color palettes, textures, and shapes. Sometimes I’ll go for a more structured, formal look, and other times I’ll embrace a wild, natural vibe.

One of my favorite things is taking cuttings from my garden and bringing them inside to enjoy. Whether it’s a simple bud vase on the kitchen counter or an elaborate centerpiece for a special occasion, those homegrown blooms always make me smile.

Extending the Season

One of the great things about a cutting garden is that you can keep harvesting fresh flowers well into the fall, long after most of your other plants have finished blooming. With the right mix of early, mid, and late-season varieties, you can enjoy cut flowers from spring through the first frost.

In the spring, start by planting cool-weather lovers like snapdragons, pansies, and Iceland poppies. As the weather warms, introduce heat-loving annuals like zinnias, sunflowers, and cosmos. And don’t forget about perennials like dahlias, which will provide a stunning late-season show.

I also like to do a bit of succession planting, sowing additional seeds for things like sweet peas and sunflowers every few weeks. This helps ensure a steady stream of new blooms.

As the days start to get shorter and the temperatures drop, you can continue harvesting from your cutting garden well into the fall. I’ve been able to cut flowers as late as Halloween some years! Just be sure to bring in any tender plants before the first hard frost.

The Joy of Homegrown Blooms

Growing a cutting garden has been one of the most rewarding gardening projects I’ve ever undertaken. There’s just something so special about being able to step outside and handpick the flowers for a beautiful bouquet. It sparks so much joy, and it’s a delight I’m happy to share with friends, family, and even passersby who stop to admire the blooms.

If you’re on the fence about starting a cutting garden of your own, I can’t encourage you enough to give it a try. Even a small space dedicated to growing cutting flowers can make a big difference. Trust me, you’ll be hooked from the very first harvest.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to TodaysGardens.org and start planning your dream cutting garden today. With a little preparation and care, you’ll be snipping away at a bountiful supply of fresh, homegrown blooms in no time.

Today’s Garden is Garden and Landscape Company, provides all you need about Garden and Landscape Design to get better garden decorations.

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