13 Mar FLOWER GARDEN: PLANTING FOR THE CENTERPIECE
Every time I’m at my grocery store or running errands by the local florist, I’m tempted to grab a bundle (or ten) of cut flowers. The colors! The scents! The soft petals and textures! And while I do often bring home a small assortment of flowers, the truth is that it would be far too expensive to do that all the time. However, if I grow them in my own garden, I save money, grow exactly what I want, and have the pleasure of walking out into my yard and minutes later returning with fresh flowers. There’s nothing more local than that.
If you’re intrigued about this idea, follow these steps and suggestions to creating your very own cut flower heaven.
Prepare the site. Choose a location on your property that gets the required amount of sun for the flowers you want to grow — most cutting flowers need as much sun as you can give them. Remove the weeds (especially the roots), and add a good deal of organic matter (aren’t you glad you started that compost pile?). Flowers are heavy feeders because of all of their fabulosity, so make sure your soil is as full of nutrition as it can be.
Plant your flowers. Cutting flowers can be annuals or perennials, and can be established by seed, bulb, or transplants. If you choose to sow seeds or plant bulbs, be sure you’re doing so at the correct time for your area — the information will be on the seed or bulb packet itself, but you can also ask your County Extension Office. Garden center transplants will be more expensive, but will provide more instant gratification. Ensure that the plants you are choosing have the same growing requirements in terms of sun and water.
Maintain the garden. Mulch lightly to discourage weeds, and water weekly unless you’ve had a good recent rainfall. Remember, it’s better to water less frequently but more deeply to ensure healthy roots. And keep cutting — the more you cut, the more prolific your plants will bloom.
IDEAL FLOWERS FOR CUTTING
|Baby’s Breath||Coral Bells||Marigold|
About the Author:
Jenny Peterson is a landscape designer and urban farmer living in Austin, Texas. She comes from a family of gardeners and her gardens include drought-tolerant plants, herbs, veggies, and a wildflower pollinator garden. As a breast cancer survivor, Jenny specializes in gardens that heal from the inside out.