This is the second part in my series on creating your own cut flower garden.
Firstly a huge thank you to everyone that dropped me a note with suggestions of what cut flowers to grow. I’ve compiled quite list! (See foot of this post for full list)
About 3 weeks ago I sowed the first of the seeds for the new cut flower garden and some of them are now ready for pricking out. Of course some of the seeds grew faster than the others, but all in all they’ve done pretty well in such a short time. If you’ve never tried it before have a go at growing a few flower seeds.
I start mine off on the window sill in pots. When they’ve come through I move them into the polytunnel and cover them with fleece if there is any sign of frost.
‘Potting On’ or Pricking out as it sometimes called is basically taking a seedling and planting it into a slightly larger pot or container so it can grow into a healthy plant ready for the garden. It’s a fairly laborious job but I find it quite therapeutic to be honest. I dissapear to the polytunnel and put on my wind up radio and away I go.
I plant my seeds in basic John Innes seed compost, with a good helping of vermiculite to stop the mix from getting too wet. The secret is to get the seeds to germinate before they get a chance to rot. Once the seeds are through I try to keep my compost on the dry side. You’re actually more likely to kill your seedlings by over watering.
When it comes to growing on the seedlings I use John Innes number 1, again with a decent amount of vermiculite. You don’t have to be too precise, something like 70% compost to 30% vermiculite works ok. Like a lot of things in gardening it’s what works best for you.
It’s really easy, but you’re going to need something to lever the seedlings out of the pot and a pot to put them in. I use an old fork, a 3″ plant pot and old pencil or dibber.
It’s a good idea to have your pots filled ready so you can minimise the time the seedlings are out of the soil. When they are so small they can easily wilt so my advice is to have everything ready to go.
When you’re ready fill a 3″ pot with compost and dib a hole ready for the seedling, then take hold it by a leaf and gently remove from the compost, then drop the seedling into the hole, carefully firming it in as you go.
I’ve quite a few to do, but it’s not the worst job in the garden and in just a few weeks they’ll have grown into decent plants ready for planting in the beds.
Not all the seeds have come through yet, some of the smaller ones like the nicotiana and anthuriums are taking a lot longer to germinate.
I’ll keep an eye on the watering, and cover them with fleece if frost is forecast. Other than that I’ll leave them to pretty much get on with it and continue getting excited about what’s to come!
A few recommendations for anyone new to cut flower gardening.
- Roses – Bush varietys
- Sweet Peas – variety xxxx
- Verbina Borensis
- Brampton Stock
- Blue Thistle
- Sweet Williams
- Sweet Rocket
- Nigella (Love in a Mist)