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Designing a Cutting Garden

I just moved to a new home with lots of sun. I would like to plant a cutting garden. How should I amend the soil? What plants should I include that will provide flowers all season long?

Start your cutting garden out right by adding 2 to 4 inches of organic matter to the top 8 to 12 inches of existing soil. Peat moss, compost, aged manure or other organic matter helps improve drainage in heavy clay soils and increase the water holding abilities of sandy and gravelly soils.

Next pick a mix of annual and perennial sun loving flowers. Annuals provide season long bloom while a mix of spring, summer and fall blooming perennials add to the season long show.

Bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths provide early season interest and make great cut flowers. Iris and peonies follow with a colorful late spring through early summer show.

Shrub roses can provide a framework for the garden and flowers throughout the summer. Threadleaf coreopsis, speedwell (Veronica), salvia, phlox and yarrow add to the summer display. Aster, mums, coneflower and rudbeckia provide late summer and fall interest.

Annuals such as calendulas, cosmos, larkspur, stocks, salvia, zinnia and marigolds bloom all summer long. This is just a short list of the many possibilities. Keep experimenting until you find the combination that fits your style.


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