Why Cut Flowers Before Planting?
On this week’s episode, Travis explains one thing to consider before planting in the vegetable garden. The ultimate goal when growing your own vegetables is to produce the healthiest crops you can. One way to get a maximum crop of healthy plants is to grow cut flowers. For crops such as cucumbers, summer squash, watermelons, and winter squash they all require pollinators. It is important to attract pollinators to ensure you get an increase in productive vegetables. For a couple of years, Travis has interplanted cut flowers along his vegetable garden and it has done extremely well. Another benefit of growing cut flowers is the ability to easily harvest or cut the stems and place them in a vase.
Cut Flower Varieties
The first cut flower variety is Ageratum Blue Horizon which is a bright-colored flower that produces tall sturdy bloom clusters that make the vegetable garden blossom with color. The Cosmos Versailles Mix is another brightly colored blend of cut flowers that produces a mix of pink, white, and red blooms. There are several different ProCut Sunflowers that are the preferred cut flower varieties. These sunflower varieties include White Nite, Lemon, Orange, and Red. However, one of the easiest cut flower varieties to grow is zinnias. We carry the Benary Giant Zinnia Mix that includes yellow, orange, purple, coral, lime and several different red variations.
Growing Cut Flowers
Before planting cut flowers we prepare the garden by using the Double Wheel Hoe in the furrowing position. Next, make a furrow to create a row and bury the drip tape in the furrow. Then, you can go along the tape and scatter the seeds along both sides of the tape to get a double row of plants. If you’re not using the drip tape layer attachment and reusing drip tape to easily cover it up you should let the emitters fill up to keep it in place while burying in the garden. To bury the drip tape, Travis takes the High Arch Wheel Hoe in the hilling position to simply cover the tape along the row. If you prefer not to direct seed, you can also use the seed starting trays to create transplants for cut flowers. When planting the cut flower transplants he places the in-row spacing around 6 to 8 inches apart in the vegetable garden. Once, the flowers start blooming it is important to come in the garden and prune the flower heads that have dried up or started to go to seed. If you properly prune the cut flowers they will continue to produce blooms all throughout the warmer months.