Grow your own cut flower garden – 95.5 WSB

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To grow your own cut flower garden ~ guess what?! You don’t need a ton of space and even a lot of money. As long as you have good soil, full sun, and the weather, a cut flower garden could be what you see every day looking out the window!

Recently on the show, I hosted Julie Garity from Hello Daisy Flower Farm and Traci Gables from Retreat Lane Flowers. I was inspired by the knowledge shared by these two ladies! These small business owners have assured me that growing cut flowers in your garden is so rewarding!

Consider growing dahlias and zinnias, or even alstroemeria. Alstroemeria is often a popular bouquet sold in grocery stores, and recipients are delighted to see how long these stems last in a vase! As a plant, this rhizome grows strong, bush-like stems that can grow up to three feet tall! It is best to plant the rhizome in fall or early spring to get flowers in early summer!

Another wonderful flower is the ranunculus, also known as buttercup! This perennial has tightly packed rose-like blooms of every color! Julie Garity says, “Plant pre-soaked ranunculus bulbs outdoors in late fall. These flowers do not like heat, so do not wait for the beginning of spring to plant these anemones, and in the same way.

We also talked about dahlias recently, whose flowers can be the size of dinner plates! Plant dahlia tubers in May, such as around Mother’s Day, and be prepared to plant them as they grow. The weight of the large flowers causes them to topple over. Simply tying the rod to the stake with a piece of wire about every 12″ will suffice.

And who doesn’t love colorful zinnias?! Butterflies and pollinators certainly do! These can be grown from plants or started from seed in late spring. The cool thing about zinnia seeds is that you can harvest them yourself, by removing the petals from flowers that have wilted and dried out. The seed is lodged at the inner end of the petal (where it meets the flower head). I keep mine in a husk from year to year and love to sow them directly into planters. For cut flower arrangements, it may be best to invest in zinnia seeds. Julie tells me, “The way to guarantee you’ll get a variety specifically bred for the cutting garden is to look at your seed packet – you want varieties labeled for cut flower production.” And remember that you won’t get the same flower color as the mother plant from its seed.

And don’t forget to work the soil well before planting, adding humus, that is, compost and organic matter that can no longer be decomposed. Experience! Start small! And see what blooms!

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