Growing Tips: Annual Cut Flower Garden

Quick Reference:

Annual, a plant that completes it’s life cycle in one season. Germination is varied by variety, usually 7 to 20 days, at an optimum soil temperature of 65 degrees F. Cover seed with no more than 1/8 inch soil spaced 1 to 3 inches apart. Ideal spacing between plants in the garden, 6 to 10 inches, Plant height: 12 to 30 inches.

When and where to plant: In Alaska, this cut flower garden blooms from mid-summer through frost when the seed is planted directly in the garden. Plant the seed as soon as the soil can be prepared and has warmed in the spring. Select a sunny location with a good, well drained soil, cultivate, enrich with plant food and organic matter, smooth soil surface, sprinkle seed on soil surface so each seed is 1 to 2 inches apart on loose soil, seed can remain on the soil surface or may be lightly covered with fine soil but must be watered well for good seed-soil contact and the soil kept moist at all times until seedlings emerge. For earlier bloom start seed indoors 4 to 5 weeks before the last frost in a container of sterilized soil by sprinkling seed on the surface then lightly covering with fine soil, water well and keep moist until seedlings emerge. After the seedlings have sprouted, grow in full sun with cool night temperatures, 55 degrees F and transplant seedlings directly to the garden, after the last frost, when they are 1 ½ to 2 inches tall. Care: Water as needed and feed every 4-6 weeks. Remove old flowers to stimulate new blossoms.

Cutting Hints: Water plants before cutting. Cut in morning or evening when the temperature is the coolest. Select flowers with buds ½ to 3/4 open. Cut with sharp knife and place in pail of luke warm water immediately after cutting. Arrange in clean container and add fresh water as needed.