Last week, I brought up the idea of a container garden planted with flowers meant to fill vases in your home or to be given as gifts to friends. Lets assume that all of us would love to have a pot or three dedicated solely to cutting flowers. After all, who wouldn’t? How can you ensure tons of blooms over a long period of time? The answer is simple, keep reading to find out!
Photo by Optically Active
Fertilizer is the key to helping your plants produce lots of blooms. When you are preparing the pot for direct sowing of seeds or transplanting, mix in a slow release fertilizer to ensure that your plants will get off to the right start and stay on a healthy path. When your plants begin to show signs of buds, add a fertilizer meant for flowering plants, according to the package directions. Add the flower fertilizer as often as the package recommends, but don’t over fertilize, which can harm your plants.
If you are growing annuals from seed, sow each variety of plant in three stages. In the first stage, sow 1/3 of your seeds. Two weeks later, sow another third. And two weeks after that, sow the remaining seeds. You can start the first sowing indoors, up to four weeks before the final frost in your area, direct sowing the last stage outside, directly into their intended location.
Try to think strategically about intermixing varieties of plants. If you are planting a flower that prefers direct sun, be sure not to inadvertently shade it with a taller flower near by. Sun lovers won’t produce as many flowers in the shade. But at the same time, if you can fit more plants into a particular location if you use taller plants to provide shade to those plants that prefer a little respite from the sun.
Picking flowers constantly will help spur the growth of new buds. Also, keep an eye out for pests as a vase full of half eaten blooms probably isn’t what you’re aiming for. Spray with an insecticidal soap at the first sign of bugs, or invest in lady bugs and praying mantis, which can be purchased at your local garden center.
Up next: When should you pick your flowers and how can you make them last as long as possible?
Have you grown a cutting garden in pots before? If so, please share your tips and tricks in the comments! What fertilizers have you had success with? Which varieties of flowers did you grow? How did you keep pests at bay?