With the amazing array of cut flowers you can grow, which ones do you choose? There are a ton of resources available both online and in print about planting flowers, but with so many variables to consider- season, climate, location, soil quality, fertilizer, I’ll admit I got a bit overwhelmed. Then I reminded myself that this is supposed to be fun, so chill out.
The smart thing to do would be to follow the recipe and guidelines for a beginner’s cut flower garden, as detailed by Lynn Byczynski in her book, The Flower Farmer, An Organic Grower’s Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers. She declared this garden would, “provide enough stems to fill your house with bouquets throughout the summer and give you a feel for the work.” But that garden didn’t include some of my favorite flowers and unfortunately I don’t always choose the smart or easy way.
So I decided to buy seeds from just one source to simplify things a bit. I ultimately selected Renee’s Garden Seeds because they are grown organically and sustainably, she has a large selection and provides a very handy planting chart. But I also love and admire the work and products of the Hudson Valley Seed Library and Bake Creek Heirloom Seeds.
I purchased seeds for the following varieties:
To Start Indoors
- Cone Flower
- Bishops Lace
To Direct Seed Outdoors
- Sweet Peas
I hope to plant dahlia tubers too.
Since I already had one grow light, I decided to start just one flat-worth of seeds indoors. I finally visited Cluck! in Providence, and they had everything I needed. The shop was an incredible mix of utilitarian gardening supplies and beautiful, unique gifts. I purchased Dr. Earth Soil Mix, a new plastic flat and cover, and a heat mat.
I’ve been checking on my seedlings every day and they are doing OK so far!
My next steps are to start thinnning them out once they get their second set of true leaves and then start hardening them off to prepare them for transplanting outdoors. I have direct-seeded the poppies and sweet peas in the two raised beds we already have and my big task this weekend is to build and prep at least two more raised beds.