Annuals Cutting Garden

Annuals Cutting Garden

Annuals Cutting Garden 2Annual plants live out their entire life cycle in one year, and in that year they produce a profusion of flowers, some lasting from spring until winter’s frost that surpasses most perennials. To extend the duration of abundant blossoms, select flowers that bloom at various times during the season. An annuals cutting garden is a delight after a cold, long winter.


Warm-Season Annuals

Plant summer annuals a few weeks after the winter’s last frost when the ground has warmed. With a seed propagation kit, start summer annuals a few weeks in advanced. However, even seedlings that are hardened off and ready for transplanting need the soil warmed by spring weather to survive. Climates with long growing seasons provide extended growth of flowers. Marigolds, safflower, coleus, and zinnias are some of the popular summer flowers for an annuals cutting garden.


Cool Season Annuals

Because in different locations, the climate varies widely from cool to freezing, the planting and duration of cool season annuals depend heavily on the climate zone in which they grow. Cool season annuals need day temperatures between 70 degrees F and 85 degrees F and night temperatures between 50 degrees F and 60 degrees F. They will withstand a light frost. When the day temperature gets too hot, be sure to increase watering and fertilize the plants to help them withstand the heat. Often, they will return with an abundance of blooms. Some favorite cool season annuals are snapdragons, sweet peas, calendula, and stocks.


Hardy Annuals

Hardy annuals are capable of defying a light frost and withstanding night temperatures down to 35 degrees F; classifying them as hardy. Plant them in early fall or late spring. Hardy annuals are adversely affected by a sudden change in temperature, however, if there is a gradual change in temperature, the plants can acclimate themselves to colder weather. Some hardy flowers for an annuals cutting garden include: bachelor buttons, larkspur, and calendula, are welcome selections in bouquets.


Selecting Varieties

Annuals Cutting GardenWhen choosing annual flower varieties for cutting, the number one priority is a long stem. Annual flowers, like larkspur, grow on tall spikes. Having said that, short-stemmed annual flowers, like nasturtiums, and sweet peas that grow on vines make for beautiful flower arrangements. Some are beautifully arranged using vases of different shapes and sizes. No set rules restrict the inclusion of any beautiful blossoms. However, some flower’s stems are easier to condition than others for a long vase life. Browse the numerous selections of annual plants and choose several that vary in size, shape, texture, color, and time of blossoming. Consider the type of soil and water, light, and fertilization requirements for group planting in rows or raised beds.

Planting Seeds

Whether you plan on a small or an extensive annual flower garden, a garden seeder is useful for direct seeding. There is a vast selection of garden seeders to choose from no matter how small or large your annuals cutting garden. These tools disperse seeds evenly. Planting seeds in evenly in rows or designs helps the new gardener or seasoned gardener planting a new annual, to recognize the sprouted annual plants. When weeds emerge with the annuals, it is evident which one to pull out. Many garden seeders create the hole, plant the seed, cover it up, and mark the next row while it’s pushed along, saving time and labor on your knees. Different seed plates for the seeder accommodate different size seeds.


Maintain moist soil while waiting for seeds to germinate. When the seedlings are around a week old, gently pull out weeds, removing all the root and all debris from around the new plants. Using mulch around young seedlings reduces weed growth and retains moisture. Where more than two seeds sprout, choose the strongest to keep and pull the others carefully to not disturb the remaining seedling.


Some annuals benefit from deadheading. As the blossoms fade, the plant focuses on the development of seeds, instead of producing more flowers. Deadheading, cutting off the spent blossoms, keeps the plant’s energy directed at creating flowers. Some flowers that benefit from deadheading are Shasta daisy, cosmos, and snapdragons.


Saving Seeds

Of all the flowers that bloom, choose the healthiest, largest flowers with the most sought after characteristics, such as color and texture, for seed collecting. Let your selection remain planted until the petals fade and the center of the flower dries. Carefully cut and place them in a basket or carrier, taking them inside to collect the seeds. In this way, future annual plants will acclimate easier to your garden. However, this does not apply to hybrid seeds as their parent plants have very different characteristics and seeds from them are unpredictable.


Healthy Growth in Following Years

Annuals Cutting Garden 2Every year rotate the planting location for each annual. Since they are vulnerable to the last year’s fungi processing decomposing plants, moving their location keeps them safe from the previous year’s soil laden fungi eating their roots. Even closely related plants are better in a different location.


Annuals Cutting Garden Highlight

So many annual flowers for cutting gardens exist, that one could spend a lifetime finding the best varieties for cutting, developing strains of favorite blossoms, creating beautiful arrangements, and enjoying their exquisite beauty. Annual cutting gardens generate a powerful floral burst of color and life from nature that inspires and delights.


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