There’s nothing like the color and scent of fresh cut flowers to brighten up your home and your spirits. However, if you have bought cut flowers for indoor bouquets, you know how expensive this indulgence can be. It doesn’t have to be. By following some basic gardening rules, you can grow your own cut flowers for enjoyment both on your landscape, and inside your home.
In order to perform to its fullest potential, any garden needs the right air, light, water, soil, insect, disease and animal protection.
Air – Before planting your cutting garden, make sure you thoroughly turn the soil over with a spade or pitchfork to create air pockets.
Light – Outdoor flowers must have four to six hour of light each day.
Water – Water holds nutrients so that plants can draw the nourishment. In addition, water carries off plant waste products as it evaporates from leaf surfaces and is essential for photosynthesis. Consequently, healthy, flowering plants need a great deal of water.
Soil – After turning the soil over, it is important to add humus and compost to nourish beneficial microorganisms and add nutrients to the soil in your cutting garden.
Fencing – In some areas, watch out for those cute little rabbits, deer, raccoons, skunks and chipmunks. They like cut flowers too!
Plant Pests – Observation is one of the main keys to controlling harmful garden insects. Any garden with a concentration of one particular plant is an invitation to insects. However, if you mix your plantings or “companion plant,” as it is called, there will be less chance of insects invading your cutting garden. For example, the Nasturtium flower will repel aphids while Tansy, a pretty herb, is known to discourage cutworms and cabbage worms. Rue, Marigolds, Asters, Garlic and Chives also deter insects and are attractive and easy to grow.
Reaping the Rewards – While there are thousands of cut flower combinations you can choose for your garden, if you grow just these types of flowers, you will have a dazzling and useful cutting garden that will bloom from early spring through the fall!
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