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Growing your own cut flower garden

To grow your own cut flower garden, guess what?! You don’t need a ton of room or even much money. As long as you have good soil, full sunshine, and time, a cut flower garden could be what you see every day as you look out your window!

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

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

Another wonderful flower is ranunculus, also known as buttercups! This perennial has tight, rose-like blooms in all colors! Julie Garity says, “plant pre-soaked ranunculus corms outside in late fall. These flowers don’t like the heat, so don’t wait until early spring to plant these, and similarly, anemones.”

We’ve also talked about dahlias recently, whose blooms can be the size of dinnerplates! Plant dahlia tubers in May, like around Mother’s Day, and be ready to stake them as they grow. The weight of the large blooms cause them to flop over. Simply tying the stem to the stake with a piece of yarn 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 by seed in late spring. The cool thing about zinnia seed is that you can collect them yourself, by pulling out the petals of blooms that have faded and dried up. The seed is housed on the inside end of the petal (where it meets the flowerhead). I keep mine in an envelop year to year, and love to direct sow them into planters. For cut flower arrangements, investing in zinnia seeds may be best. 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, you won’t get the same color flower as the parent plant from its seed.

And just remember to really work the soil good before planting, adding humus, which is compost and organic materials that can no longer be broken down. Experiment! Start small! And see what blooms!

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