Growing a cutting garden makes keeping fresh-cut flowers in your home a snap as you have an ample supply readily available. Even though flowers from your other flowerbeds serve well for inside floral displays, many gardeners prefer to grow separate cutting gardens. This allows you to grow one garden bed to enhance the appearance of your yard and another bed strictly for cutting, eliminating the difficult decision of whether or not to cut that gorgeous bloom or allow it to grow.
Select a sunny location that receives six to eight hours of direct sunlight. Most flowers thrive in direct sunlight. If you simply must have flowers that require less light, consider growing two cutting gardens.
Prepare soil in the fall for spring planting by tilling to a depth 8 to 12 inches. Remove rocks, roots and other debris. Add organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure to the existing soil and mix in well. The proportions depend on the condition of the existing soil. Generally, one part organic matter to three parts soil is sufficient.
Test the soil in the spring to determine the pH and nutrient content. You can purchase an inexpensive soil test kit at your local hardware store for a few dollars. Follow the instructions in the kit for amending the soil to adjust pH or nutrients. Add a slow-release fertilizer and mix in well with the soil.
Group flowers according to their watering needs, height and growing habits for ease of maintenance and care. Plant flowers close together to encourage them to grow tall with long stems. As cutting flowers, long stems are best for attractive floral displays. Because the cutting garden is not for display, garden design and color scheme is not an issue.
Choose flowers in a variety of sizes, colors and shapes. Include plants with lacy or colored foliage to add interest and texture in floral displays. Consider the blooming time of each flower so that you have flowers in bloom throughout the season.
Plant flowers in widely-spaced rows to allow for harvesting and soil cultivation. Pick or cut flowers often to encourage new blooms. Deadhead any spent blooms to prevent flowers from going to seed.
Grow taller flowers in the back of the garden to prevent shading shorter varieties. Pull and discard plants when blooming ceases, and plant new flowers in their place to provide fresh flowers throughout the season.