16 EASY FLOWERS I’M GROWING IN MY CUT FLOWER GARDEN THIS YEAR

Mar 22, 2021


I covered how my flower garden got started and how year one went
in this post. This year I am taking what I know from year one and putting it to use for my second year and expanding a little bit in the space I grow in and the types of flowers I plan to grow. Here is a look at my plan for my YEAR TWO Cut Flower Garden, some helpful resource links, how-to's and a quick garden Q & A.

 

What I plan (hope) to grow this year
 in my cut flower garden–

+ cosmos*– Apricot Lemonade + some orange seeds a frend saved and sent me

+ Calendulas - cantaloupe

+ zinnias* – semi dwarf pumila mixed colors, Oklahoma mix, Lilliput mixed colors

+ nasturtium – dwarf jewel mixed colors & papaya cream mix – these are container friendly & will likely be ones I plant in pots.

+ marigolds* – I saved seeds from last year and a friend sent me large marigold seeds – traditional yellow / orange colors.

+ sunflowers* – I have mammoth, velvet queen, ruby & lemon queen

+ coleus* – rainbow mix – this grows well in containers & makes for good foliage in arrangements

+ strawflower – apricot, scarlet, silvery rose

+ aster – apricot

+ dahlia – red skin

+ bachelor’s button – mixed color (perennial)

+ yarrow – berry mix (perennial)

+ amish cockscomb – a friend gave me a bloom from her garden and I saved seeds from it.

+ amaranth – green, white globe, bleeding heart

+ celosia – pampas plume mix, super crest,

+ poppy – breadseed (frosted salmon) & giant peony mixed colors


all of these from seed & * signifies flowers I grew in year one – many of these are new to me.


This is a long list & it's likely I  will not be able to make room for it all. I’ll write another blog post as an update later in the season to update on what I ended up planting. But, I wanted to list them all out to help with your seed shopping + planning.

 

the flower seeds I ordered from Floret 

Zinnia seeds I bought at Wal-Mart


 apricot lemonade cosmos (bottom)  +  cantaloupe calendula flowers (top)  I ordered as seeds online from Select Seeds


Where I’m growing my cut flowers –

In the same 4x16 raised bed I used last year. But, this year, I’m expanding to grow in two raised beds. We already have two made and I’ll be using our second one for cut flowers this year as well, both are 4x16. I’ll probably grow in a few pots too and I have my raised garden on the patio that will hold flowers and herbs as well.



my seeds I purchased from Floret + this handy case for organizing my seed packets

 

My Garden Plan

I still have to map out what I plan to plant where. You can look at the back of the seed packet (or online) for seed planting specs – how to sow, how tall they will get, etc.


You’ll want to keep your taller plants to the back of your space and your shorter plants to the front. For me, the front of my beds is to the South, which is where my shortest height flowers will get planted, then I’ll work my way back in the rows to the tallest ones. Check the width too so that you don’t overpopulate one area.


I feel like it’s somewhat tricky when starting by direct sowing seeds. You don’t fully know what is going to come up..so I planted kind of heavy last year (again, equal parts planning + winging it). So, where I had bare spots that seeds didn’t come up, I filled in with plant starts. Which worked, but I overcrowded my bed and wasn’t able to harvest certain plants for long. Example. I planted a dusty miller plant start in a space where zinnias didn’t come up, but  as the season progressed the size of my zinnias greatly expanded and then they fully covered my dusty miller plant next to them. Live and learn. I’ll be mildly more aware of spacing this year.


STARTING SEEDS BY WINTER SOWING

One new method I learned of is winter sowing – I saw this method on Lindy’s Instagram page a few week’s ago. She tried it for the first time and had success. It seemed like an easy enough way to start seeds, so I gave it a try this weekend. I started asters and strawflowers – see the steps in my Instagram reel.


Here is a helpful chart explaining the winter sowing process.

PINCHING PLANTS

This is a daunting task, but  it's one that produces more blooms on your cut flowers. I did it last year and will be doing it every year in my garden. It's basically a form of pruning that encourages new stems to form. Which creates a fuller plant & more blooms. I only pinch plants in my cut flower garden - not  my perennial plants or the ones in my flower pots. 


Saving Seeds –

I was able to save seeds from my garden blooms last year and I’ll be usng them this year. I also received some seeds from friends. So, not all of these were purchased. Definitely a great way to save some money and expand what you’re able to grow. There are a lot of tutorials on YouTube or Instagram and the ones I saved (cosmo, zinnia, marigold, cockscomb) were all very easy to do!


Helpful links -


Grow Zone Finder -- learn what grow zone you are by zipcode here 

I'm in Missouri in grow zone 6A.

Frost Dates -- learn your first / last frost date by zipcode here

My zipcode has a frost risk through April 27th.

Here's a look at the Amish Cockscomb a friend gave me & why I love it so much!


A few questions I received on Instagram


Q – One flower you’d recommend growing for a first year flower garden?

A - Zinnias! Easy and they produce a lot of vibrant blooms.

 

Q - Is there one kind of sunflower that is easier to grow than others?

A - I don’t have enough personal experience on the topic to answer but I found this article from Midwest Living on the best sunflower varieties. My friend Lindy said they all seem to do equally well in her opinion! I listed

 

Q – How did you determine how many seeds to plant and where?

A- Once you determine what you want to grow, you can research the growing specifics. The back of the seed pack holds tons of helpful info. Seed spacing, depth to sow, where to plant (full sun, etc). It will often say if they are container friendly or not, so if you plan to start a garden in pots you can look for that!

GROWING KINDNESS

last year I signed up to be a gardener for the growing kindness project 

"Grow flowers & give them away. That's it. It's humble. It's simple. It's powerful"

In the gardener role you do just that - simply grow flowers & share your bouquets within your community to spread kindness - here's the link if you'd like to sign up & learn more.


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YOU CAN SHOP A FEW OF MY FAVORITE GARDEN ITEMS BELOW ---


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