You Can Plant Your Own Flower Cutting Garden-#1 Dahlias
March 13, 2018
Well it’s about time I have my own cutting garden. I’ve been a floral designer forever and a day. But, to have access spring, summer and fall to my floral favorites would be “a dream come true”. So this is the year I’m gonna do it! This post is the first of more flowers posts that I plan to include in the cutting garden.
We shall see just how much of the lawn the hubby will let me dig up. OH BUOOOY!
Following is a list of what I would like to have in the cutting garden in a sunny location. I have chosen types that are pretty easy to grow. This should help my cutting garden to be a success. Alongside each I have noted the time they should flower in my Michigan Zone 6:
Dahlia-Late Summer and Fall
Pincushion Flower-Summer and Fall
Black-Eyed Susan-Summer and Fall
Purple Cone Flower-Summer and Fall
Hydrangea-Summer and Fall
Zinnia-Summer and Fall
Stock-Summer and Fall
Clematis-Late Spring and Late Summer
Roses-Summer and Fall
Snapdragons-Summer and Fall
The assortment of shapes sizes and colors should give me lots to work with when making arrangements for friends, or just to put on the kitchen table for myself. And............one for the nightstand, one for the kitchen island and ……………….. I’m getting so excited! There will be flowers everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!
While at the store I saw some nice DAHLIA tubers. Had to buy a few…. DAHLIAS are my #1 favorite all time flower. I love how they make a wonderful focal point in any piece you place them in. They are so heavy with petals that the heads bob up and down like a jack-in-the-box. The only downfall is that you have to wait the whole growing season to finally get them to bloom. They love the early September sun and then they will produce blooms until the first frost. Here in Michigan that could be as early as mid October. But on average the first frost comes about Halloween time.
The varieties I purchased are Lady Darlene a Bright Yellow with magenta red tips, Caproz Pizzazz a deep magenta with a light blush where the petals emerge from the center, and Otto’s Thrill a very feminine peachy pink. All my choices are dinner plate in size and have pointed petals with a somewhat flat face unlike the round ball type you are probably familiar with. I may have to pick up a couple of those as the planting season goes on and add to my bed.
Featured here is a dinner plate DAHLIA grown by a local flower farm. I hope mine get this big! DAHLIAS have showy colors that are very saturated and brilliant. A real positive is that they keep producing the more that you cut the blooms, forking off in all directions. I have seen specimens at the local flower farm that were 6 feet tall. Loaded with blooms of all sizes, it seems that the first cuts are the largest from the plant. The blooms tend to get smaller running towards the end of the fall season.
The dinner plate variety DAHLIAS are so amazing. I must make sure I have strong supports put in place for these giant beauties that can be as big as 12” across. Making sure to put in poles before you plant your DAHLIAS, it is so important. You would not want to stab any tubers or roots after they are in the ground. I plan on staking with bamboo poles, and lots of twine zig-zagging in and out and all around to support the heavy blooms. So, I’m going be positive about the plant sizes and make these staking structures at least 4 feet tall!
DAHLIAS love sandy acidic soil. Preparing the soil with lots of rich compost is on my list. As soon as the soil is thawed and ready to work I’ll be adding lots from my compost pile as well as some purchased decomposed cow manure and a little bit of sand to create nice drainage. Probably not a bad idea to do a soil test, the correct PH is a priority otherwise the plants can’t suck in all that nourishment I plan on putting right at the roots. Anyone can pick up a pretty inexpensive soil test kit at any lawn and garden store like Home Depot, Lowes and ACE Hardware. Pretty easy to use, just be patient and follow the directions completely.
And then there are the bugs, (we love the bees) usually lots of hungry guys waiting to suck the life out of my plants. I’ll be on the lookout daily for any signs of them. I may plan is to use Bayer SystemicFor Flowers on the plants right from the moment they go in the ground unless I find a more environment safe alternative. Along with that tried and true product I will be placing a couple Japanese Beetle traps to the back of my property to steer them away from my glorious DAHLIAS.
The squirrels and bunnies could be an issue. I’ll just have to put some sort of alarm system around my budding beauties, or, annoying netting that will drive them away. We shall see.
The plus with DAHLIAS is that the tubers can be dug up in the fall after the first frost and placed in a cool “hibernation” spot until next year. The tubers usually multiply, so I guess next year I’ll be expanding, or, giving away to friendly gardeners. Not a bad thing.
Are you growing DAHLIAS in your garden? Do you cut flowers from your garden? What are your favorites? Do you use an environmentally safe bug deterrent? Please comment and tell me about your garden plans this season. What are varieties that I should include, have I left any easy growers out?
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