Easy Cut Flower Garden

Cut flower Garden
Cut flower Garden

I love flowers. I love to grow them and I love to share them. From spring with the arrival of the daffodils to fall with the final sunflowers I want weekly bouquets in the house.

During Covid lock down when I suppose we all went a bit stir crazy I decided to add a cutting garden to our spring planting. It was easy to achieve and could likely provide 10-12 bouquets per week in the summer. Think of it as our urban flower farm.

For this project you will need
lawn mower
garden hose
compost/rotted manure
heavy nylon wove landscape fabric
landscape ties
plants or seeds

The first step is to choose a suitable location. The area should get at least 6 hours of sunlight. Avoid areas that are often windy. Measure and mark the area. Ours is one width of landscape fabric and approximately 24 feet. We are lucky to have a large green space behind our property and our city does not mind our setting up this area.
It is also close enough that we can water the flowers during dry periods.

Now it’s time to prepare the location. Lower the blade of your lawnmower as much as you can and cut the grass from the area. Then throughly soak the area with water.

Next step is to lay down cardboard. Be sure to remove any tape or staples from the cardboard. Overlap the pieces of cardboard as this is the barrier to the grass and weeds below. Throughly soak the cardboard with water.

The next layer will be the compost and manure. A layer 3-4 inches is ideal.
I wouldn’t try to use potting soil for this project. It would not likely stay in place and easily be eroded by water or wind.

Ideally this should be done in the fall so the cardboard has some time to breakdown. I have done this 3-4 weeks before planting and it worked out fine.

When it’s time to plant you will need to prepare the landscape fabric. The heavy fabric with the nylon weave is best cut to size using a torch. This will melt the edge and keep it from fraying. Next with the torch make planting holes. Our fabric has holes burned every 9 inches and we have staggered three rows. The holes are about the size of a soup can. Lay the fabric over the prepared bed and secure it with landscape ties.

Now it’s time to plant. For bouquets you want a variety of plants. Think spiller, filler and thriller. A beginner mistake is often to forget the fillers.
Our main plants for our cut garden are zinnia, aster, cosmos, snapdragon, sweet peas, dahlias and sunflowers. Our bouquet fillers often are herbs such as basil or mint. We have a patch of willow behind us and the new growth makes a nice filler. Perennial grasses and shrubs also make nice fillers. Vegetables like carrots when they go to seed look like Queen Anne’s lace. Radish gone to seed have pretty small pink flowers. Be sure to plan for variety.

Think about varied texture, form and colour before you plant. Some flowers are spikes like veronica, snapdragon or stocks. Others have a round shape like asters zinnias and dahlias. Others are light and airy like Queen Anne’s lace, statice, baby’s breathe or yarrow. Have a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and have fun. Many cut flowers like zinnia and sunflowers can be sown direct, making this a great project to involve the kids.

The bonus as you cut for bouquets the plants will keep producing, and you will have plenty to share.

Happy gardening !

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