2020 is our first year with a backyard cutting garden. Today I wanted to run through a quick garden update. We will chat about what we are growing this year, what is working so far and a few things I have liked and learned along the way. Let’s dish on the dirt…
Our growing spot right now is two 4×8 raised garden beds located in the back corner of yard. This spot was carefully chosen for full sun. Our property is quite shady due to the amount of trees so it was tricky finding a spot that gets 6+ hours of sunlight. If you are just starting out, I recommend taking pictures or keeping notes of your target area every 2 hours to observe the change in sunlight.
This year I specifically wanted a flower cutting garden which means we chose a mix of flowers and fillers to make (hopefully) beautiful arrangements throughout the summer and fall. I prioritized the flowers that I love and those that I read were relatively easy for beginners. My favorite book on the process is Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden. The pictures in this book are insane and worth the price alone.
What’s Growing in Our Garden
- Iceland Poppy (Sherbet Mix)
- Cosmos (Cupcake Blush)
- Zinnia (Oklahoma Pink)
- Sweet Pea (Anniversary)
- Snapdragon (Sherbet Toned Chantilly Mix)
- Gomphrena (Audray White)
- China Aster (Rose Quartz Mix)
- Celosia (Flamingo Feather)
- Basil (Mrs. Burns Lemon)
- Queen Anne’s Lace (Queen of Africa)
- Bells of Ireland
Elsewhere in our yard we have two types of hydrangeas and I plan to add some peonies at the end of the summer.
A few this I have learned so far:
- We bought a hose timer and a dripper system which takes the guess work out of watering. Highly recommend!
- Next year I will start the garden planning process earlier. January is my target so I have plenty of time to purchase seeds/supplies as well as start the seeds indoors. Our 2020 garden project was a spur of the moment decision spurred into action thanks to quarantine so everything was a bit rushed.
- I still have lots to learn about creating the ideal seed starting environment – some of my seeds did great and others had a harder time. I plan to do some research about what went wrong in the winter once the garden tending slows down.
- Go slowly when hardening off (aka bringing outside) your seeds – think 2 hours in direct sun for 3 days and then increase it from there. My plants got scorched the first time because I tried to rush this process and get the seeds into the garden. Lesson learned!
- A good fertilizer helps things along tremendously: I am doing this one weekly (warning: it stinks!!!!) and I added this one to the roots when transplanting. I need to do more learning on this area for next year as I’m sure there are tons of great options out there.
Next blog post I will get into corralling, netting and pinching. Tending to your garden is a whole new blog post for another day. Stay tuned! I also added a Garden Shop for all of my favorite garden finds so far. Check it out and let me know what you think!